HOPING FOR A REPEAT Mayo GAA Board secretary Dermot Butler celebrates Mayo’s victory over Dublin in the recent All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Pic: Sportsfile
THERE was some good news for Mayo supporters last night (Monday) when more than 1,800 extra tickets for Saturday’s All-Ireland final were made available to them.
A second allocation of match tickets were distributed to all 49 GAA clubs in Mayo, while 500 more tickets were raffled off between Cairde Mhaigheo members, bringing to 1,000 the total number allocated to the Season Ticket holders over the last five days.
This will be some relief to the thousands of Mayo fans hoping to be in Croke Park on the big day and Mayo GAA Secretary, Dermot Butler said every effort was being made to accommodate as many supporters as possible.
The total attendance allowed to attend the match — under public health guidelines — is 41,150.
“I know I’m repeating myself but we’ve tried to be as fair as possible in everything we’ve done,” he told The Mayo News. “I know there’s a lot of frustrated people out there, including Season Ticket holders. Some people think the whole thing is personal but nothing could be farther from the truth.
“There are a lot of people in clubs who give up a lot of family time to train underage teams and bring players here, there and everywhere.
“They also travel near and far supporting Mayo and they may also not get a ticket. There are people volunteering for their club for the past 50 years who aren’t guaranteed tickets. “Whether people like it or not, Mayo GAA’s first allegiance is to our clubs and it will always be that way,” he explained.
Butler’s remarks were reinforced by the announcement that more than 1,300 extra tickets were being released to Mayo GAA clubs last night.
Senior clubs received 32 extra tickets — 20 stand and 12 terrace; intermediate clubs an extra 28 (20 and 8); while junior and hurling clubs received an additonal 22 tickets (20 stand and 2 terrace).
“We worked hard to get as many as we could and we sent them out to clubs this evening. “Hopefully, that will help relieve some of the pressure,” said the Crossmolina man.
These additions bring the number of tickets that have gone directly into Mayo hands to more than 13,000 after last week’s initial allocation of 10,950 from Croke Park.
That figure compares very well to the most recent All-Ireland football finals that Mayo supporters could physically attend — in 2016 and 2017.
The capacity of Croke Park in those years was 82,300 and, according to Dermot Butler, Mayo got “just over 12,500 tickets” on each occasion.
To receive even more this time (when the stadium capacity is at 50%) is an achievement in itself, but the secretary wasn’t interested in credit.
“All we want is to be fair and get as many people to Croke Park as possible. It promises to be a great occasion and every Mayo supporter there will contribute to the colour and the noise.”
The Mayo GAA secretary also confirmed that ‘corporate packages’ were available to purchase for private individuals/businesses, and said this was necessary in order to finance the team’s preparation for the big game.
“It costs a lot of money to bring a team to an All Ireland final and that has to be financed, but the amount of tickets used in that regard were kept as tight as possible,” he concluded.