ONLY 300 spectators were allowed attend Friday night’s FBD clash between Mayo and Galway in the NUIG Airdome, but the much-anticipated contest attracted a massive following online.
Connacht GAA secretary, John Prenty told The Mayo News yesterday (Monday) that more than 5,000 people streamed the match on Friday evening, resulting in an income boost of €50,000 for the provincial council.
This is a timely boost to the Connacht coffers and was warmly welcomed by Prenty who said the response to Friday’s game showed the huge interest there is in the sport in the province.
“Connacht football is as popular as ever and we’d love to be able to host as many people as possible in the dome, but that wasn’t allowed under the Covid regulations, so we went for the next best thing and people responded in great numbers,” he explained.
“Any profits made will be ploughed back into the facilities and services for clubs and that’s the way it has always been.”
An interested spectator in the crowd on Friday night was Bernard Dunne, the current High Performance Director of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. Dunne worked with the Dublin senior football team as a Sports Performance and Lifestyle coach from 2013 to ‘15, helping them to three All Ireland titles.
So speculation was rife over the weekend as to what the former world champion boxer was doing in Bekan on Friday night, but John Prenty wasn’t any wiser than
“To be honest I never knew he was there until I saw the pictures today. Maybe he just walked in off the street to see what the dome was like or maybe he was there with Mayo - anything is possible!”
This Friday’s FBD final between Galway and Roscommon in the Air Dome will not be streamed by Connacht GAA as the game will be shown on TG4 social media platforms and television.
“TG4 will stream it from 5.45pm on their website and social media platforms and will carry deferred coverage on television from 7.30pm,” explained John Prenty. “We’ll be losing revenue but we want to share our games and facilities with the widest audience possible and broadcasting the FBD final on TG4 helps us do that.”