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Tickets boost for Mayo fans

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UNDER COVER Spectators look on during last Sunday’s Connacht SFC semi-final between Roscommon and Galway at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon. Pic: Sportsfile

More than 3,500 patrons will be in MacHale Park next weekend


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Michael Gallagher

THE annual scramble for tickets for Mayo fans will come a little earlier than expected this summer after Connacht GAA chiefs confirmed that there will be more than 3,500 spectators in MacHale Park, Castlebar for Sunday’s Connacht SFC semi-final between Mayo and Leitrim at 2pm.
Some Mayo GAA clubs began contacting their members on Tuesday evening, asking them to submit their names for match tickets (which cost €30 each) if interested.
GAA clubs seem to be making approximately 10-12 tickets available for general sale.
Connacht Council Secretary, John Prenty told The Mayo News on Monday night that the unexpected increase in numbers allowed through the turnstiles comes on the back of a very successful test event at last Sunday’s Connacht SFC clash of Roscommon and Galway in Hyde Park which was attended by 1,049 spectators.
“That went very well,” he said. “People adhered to the protocols despite the heavy rain and on the basis of that success we got an increased capacity for Sunday’s match in Castlebar. “We’re waiting for the statutory instrument to come from the government setting out all the procedures to be followed at the moment.”
The Mayo News understands that patrons attending next Sunday’s match will be required to abide by a code of conduct which includes remaining seated, where possible, and avoiding contact with others outside their social bubbles.
Spectators will also be required to wear face-coverings at all times, download the HSE Covid-19 contract tracing app and follow the advice of staff and stewards.
No food or beverages will be available for sale inside the ground and entry times will be staggered to allow for the efficient and safe movement of fans.
“The stadium will be divided into zones,” explained John Prenty.
“The most important thing is social distancing and the tickets will be sold in pods of four. These pods will be spread around the ground, both inside the stand and throughout the unreserved seating around the other areas of the stadium. Access will be very regulated and it will require co-operation from all involved.”
Mr Prenty said a huge amount of work must be done in the coming days to have the Castlebar stadium ready to meet all the criteria associated with an increased attendance in time for Sunday’s clash. And he called on supporters in attendance to play their part.
“There was great co-operation from everyone in Hyde Park last weekend and the increased numbers allowed in for next Sunday shows how well that event went,” he said.
“There were people there monitoring the whole thing and there will be more in Castlebar on Sunday making sure everything is in order.”
Meanwhile, the well-know GAA official also confirmed the two competing squads will have to follow very strict timelines on Sunday.
County teams are allowed use dressing-rooms on match days, but access to the stadium will be will be very regulated.
In the days before Covid the timelines around teams entering stadiums were quite fluid, but that has all changed and the match-day programme and protocols are now very streamlined.
“However, we’re all looking forward to Sunday and the excitement these games bring with them,” concluded John Prenty.

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