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Anyone looking for tickets?


Anyone looking for tickets?

Edwin McGreal

Have you ever wondered where All-Ireland tickets go?

MAYO fans – together with supporters of Kerry’s seniors and minors and Roscommon minors – can only expect to receive a combined total of 37.1% of the tickets for Sunday week’s finals in Croke Park. At the moment Mayo might only receive as little as 11.5% (9,500 tickets) of the total capacity in the Drumcondra venue.
These figures are based on the allocation of tickets for the 2005 finals which are expected to stay largely along similar lines for 2006. This means that in an initial first round distribution Mayo are likely to receive approximately 9,500 tickets, Kerry between 14,000 and 15,000 and Roscommon 2,900. An extra allocation of anything up to 5,000 tickets can also be made available and demand will determine where. In total in 2005 the competing counties received 30,545 tickets.
The total capacity of Croke Park since developments concluded in 2005 is 82,300 tickets.
Of these tickets, 14,812 will not be available for circulation. A total of 4,143 of these are long-term Cusack Stand tickets while Premium Level and Box tickets account for a total of 10,528 and miscellaneous account for 141 of these.
That greatly reduces the number of tickets in circulation to 67,488 but amazingly even this figure is over twice the amount that will filter its way to the competing counties.
For every senior All-Ireland final, be it football or hurling, every club in the country, outside of those competing, can lay claim to at least two tickets and in some counties, as many as five.
The total number of tickets given to counties outside of those competing is a staggering 24,422. That means an incredible average of 842 tickets for each of the 29 counties with no direct interest on Sunday week.
If Mayo were not involved on Sunday could you imagine 842 people from the county (let’s take that as the average) going? Perhaps at a push but certainly a great number of those tickets can be put to better use in the competing counties.
Outside of the figures already stated, thousands of tickets go to several different organisational units of the GAA. Provincial councils (659), handball (162), camogie (120) and schools and educational bodies (2,518) are just some. Former Presidents of the GAA get a combined total of 659 tickets, that’s close to 100 tickets each, public representatives get  140 tickets, Croke Park staff and sub-committees get a whopping 1,446 tickets between them while media account for 253 seats.
The Ard-Chomhairle of the GAA gets 786 tickets while, amazingly, the Ard-Stiúrthóir of the GAA, Mr Liam Mulvihill gets 334 tickets.
The breakdown of the tickets that are going to Kerry and Mayo aren’t dissimilar to 2004 with Kerry being in both the minor and senior finals again. Kerry are likely to receive approximately 15,000 tickets. That total is over 5,000 higher than Mayo because of their minor involvement and also because there are more clubs in Kerry (72) compared to Mayo (52).
Kerry clubs will not be at the top of the queue however when it comes to receiving tickets from their County Board. A recently formed fund-raising scheme has over 2,000 members, all of whom are entitled to an All-Ireland ticket while every Kerry player with a senior All-Ireland winner’s medal is entitled to two tickets under a County Board imposed rule. In a county with as many All-Irelands as Kerry, you can imagine that total will come to a sizeable tally.

{mospagebreak title=Club Secretaries ‘inundated’ with requests}
Club Secretaries ‘inundated’ with requests

Mike Finnerty

WITH the countdown to the All-Ireland Football Final now well underway, Club Secretaries right across the county are being inundated with requests for match tickets.
However, with demand far in excess of supply, it is a thankless task for each and every one of them.
“It’s my worst nightmare,” Knockmore Secretary Brenda Blewitt told The Mayo News last night. “The phone has been ringing constantly since Mayo beat Dublin, we have 400 members, and 380 names have been given already, with ten days still to go!
“The words I’ve heard most this week are, ‘I’m depending on you’, ‘Don’t let me down’, and ‘I was promised a ticket’. In Knockmore we’re going to make sure that players, the club executive and people who help out around the club are catered for.
“To be honest, it’s very unfortunate that we can’t cater for everyone. I feel sorry for people that have gone to all the other games with their families and are now looking for five tickets for themselves and their children. It just isn’t possible to meet that demand, the tickets just aren’t there. Not having children’s tickets creates a major problem.”
Meanwhile, James Rocke, the Castlebar Mitchels Secretary, painted a similar picture.
“The requests are piling in to us, there are an awful lot of people looking for tickets,“ he said. “Everyone is anxious to go but we cannot really tell people where they stand yet because we don’t honestly know how many tickets as a club we will be receiving. Supply is usually limited enough but the way I found it last time (2004) was that most people got sorted.
‘We would have a lot of people outside the club looking for tickets and we are taking names at the moment but we will be looking after club members first. For the Dublin game we had 500 applications for tickets and we would expect the same, if not more for the final. Some of those were non-members but I don’t anticipate us being able to give tickets to anyone but club members for the final. We have 200 underage players, 50-60 adult players and 200 members besides and by the time they are all sorted out I’d be very surprised if we had any tickets left over.”

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