ANXIOUS TIMES A Mayo supporter is pictured during the recent All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Dublin at Croke Park. Pic: Sportsfile
Season Ticket holders to enter Croke Park draw
MAYO GAA have received an initial allocation of 10,950 tickets for the upcoming All-Ireland senior football final between Mayo and Tyrone on Saturday week next, September 11.
The news was confirmed by County Board secretary Dermot Butler last Friday, and means that Mayo GAA’s allocation represents approximately 25 percent of the total number of tickets that will be available for the biggest football match of the year at Croke Park.
The attendance for the All-Ireland Final has been set at 40,000 this year under public health Covid restrictions, but there are hopes that figure may be increased in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Mayo GAA chiefs have also brokered an agreement with GAA officials in Croke Park to supply an additional 500 tickets for ‘a random draw’ for approximately 3,500 adult ‘Cairde Maigh Éo Season Ticket’ holders.
This draw, which will be run and overseen by Croke Park officials using the online Season Ticket database, takes place tomorrow (Wednesday) and the lucky 500 winners will be notified via e-mail.
“It’s not an ideal situation, and I do sincerely sympathise with Season Ticket holders,” said Dermot Butler. “They’ve been very very good to us, both in a financial sense and in a supporter’s sense, for many years. But we’re just caught with the pandemic, with the reduction in tickets.
“This is the fairest option we’ve come up with. As I said, it’s not ideal, I hope people understand that we’re making an effort to alleviate the problem slightly.
“We’re doing our best, we’ve a limited amount of tickets.
“People have to understand that Mayo GAA don’t get 20,000 tickets, which would be half the [total] allocation. We only get a portion of that and we have to divide that out among the clubs, and among the players and sponsors and so on,” the Crossmolina clubman told Mid West Radio.
“I understand there’s a lot of anger out there, I wish I was able to wave a magic wand and give everybody a ticket, but unfortunately, I can’t do that,” he added.
“There simply won’t be enough tickets for everybody who wants a ticket.”
Mayo GAA clubs were informed of their initial ticket allocations for the All-Ireland Final last week with senior clubs receiving 108 stand and 10 terrace tickets; Intermediate clubs getting 88 stand and 10 terrace; Junior clubs receiving 70 stand 10 terrace; and exclusive hurling clubs also getting 70 stand and 10 terrace tickets.
Clubs who have a player currently on the Mayo senior panel will receive an additional 10 stand tickets; the top three clubs who sold tickets in the Club Development Draw in each grade will also receive an additional six stand tickets; while Ballina Stephenites, Castlebar Mitchels and Westport will retain the ‘urban allocation bonus’ of 10 terrace tickets per club.
Players who played in an least one inter-county game for the Mayo senior team in the past will also be allocated one ticket through their club, in addition to the initial allocation.
“When you add in the corporate tickets and the premium seats, along with Croke Park sponsors and that, and every GAA club in the country will get an allocation of tickets, so when you add all that up it doesn’t be long adding up to 40,000,” added Dermot Butler.
“Back in 2016 and 2017 [when Mayo also played in All-Ireland Finals and the capacity of Croke Park was 82,300], we got just over 12,500 tickets — so we’re not all that far away from that allocation now. There were 3,500 Season Tickets distributed [in those years] from Croke Park.”
The Mayo GAA secretary also confirmed that ‘corporate packages’ were available to purchase for private individuals/businesses, but Mayo GAA clubs were informed last week that they ‘will not be levied for fundraising packages’ this year.
“It does cost money to get our senior team to an All-Ireland Final, and to alleviate those costs, so we won’t be falling back on clubs, we have corporate packages available,” said Butler.