Leinster SFC: Ticket sales slow for Dublin trip to Kilkenny
Over 10,000 tickets are still available for SFC clash with Laois at Nowlan Park
Dublin haven’t played a Leinster Championship match outside of Croke Park since 2006. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.
Whatever novelty and hype is surrounding Dublin’s first football championship match on the road in 10 years hasn’t exactly transferred to ticket sales – not yet anyway.
It may still come close to a sell-out although, for now, some 10,000 tickets are still available for Saturday evening’s Leinster SFC quarter-final against Laois at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny, even with a slightly reduced capacity than originally expected.
Dublin haven’t played a Leinster football championship match outside of Croke Park since 2006, when – exactly 10 years ago to the day, June 4th – they travelled to Pearse Park to play Longford. It proved far closer than expected, before Dublin prevailed by two points, 1-12 to Longford’s 0-13.
“We’d be hoping for a crowd in the region of 20,000, which is what they’re currently talking about in the ticket offices,” said Cian Murphy, Leinster GAA commercial manager
“There are about 15,000 tickets sold in advance, by now, so right now we expect there will be a limited number of tickets, for both stand and terrace, available at Nowlan Park on the day, although that could change before Saturday. The obvious advice is that anyone still thinking about travelling should purchase a ticket in advance (via Centra and SuperValu outlets, and also via www.gaa.ie)
“And the advice would be to get there early, too. Because some Dublin supporters are so used to just rocking up to Croke Park on the day, getting their tickets there, it could be that there’ll be a late rush or flurry on the day. We’ve seen in other provinces already this season that they’ve been selling around 5,000 tickets on the day of the match.
“If you look back at attendances at Dublin’s Spring Series this year [their home league games in Croke Park], they’ve all been around 20,000. So this would be in line with that. I know it’s the first round of the championship, but there wasn’t a huge crowd at the Laois-Wicklow match, which drew around 4,500. And that was actually a double-header. There wasn’t a huge Laois crowd that day.
“But there’s been a massive amount of work carried out on Nowlan Park over the last few years, and it’s now fully seated on three sides, with the exception of the terrace, and what is known as the town end. That’s 17,800 seats, in total, and the capacity for the terrace has been reduced slightly, with an overall capacity of around 25,000.”
Despite being huge favourites to win on Saturday and to go on and collect a sixth straight Leinster title, Dublin aren’t taking the game lightly.
Manager Jim Gavin took his team to Kilkenny last Saturday, playing a practice game at 7pm, the exact same time as throw-in. Laois also trained there on Tuesday evening, but are looking for their first win over Dublin in 13 years, having lost to them six times since.
There are also reports of lower than expected ticket sales for Sunday’s Munster hurling semi-final between Clare and Waterford at Thurles. The Munster Council are predicting a crowd of around 25,000. The drawn Clare-Waterford league final drew 20,481, but this dropped by over 5,000 for the replay, which Clare won.