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GAA set to land cool £3m windfall from the All-Ireland final replay

Gaelic Games

By Declan Bogue

It is anticipated that the GAA will make over £3million from the All-Ireland Senior Football final replay on Saturday, October 1.

Dublin and Mayo will once again go head-to-head for the Sam Maguire before a full house of over 80,000 at Croke Park after a thrilling 2-09 0-15 draw at the weekend.

The GAA have announced a reduction of ticket prices for the replay from €80 to €60 in the stands, while tickets for Hill 16 are now €30.

However, these are not as big as past reductions when the All-Ireland hurling final was decided in a replay in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. For those three years, the price of a stand ticket was dropped to €50, while a terrace ticket was €25.

In addition, there will be a limited number of €10 tickets available for Under 16s from the competing counties only.

Those seeking a ticket following Sunday's compelling, if somewhat lacking in quality due to the conditions, final may have trouble securing one as the GAA have insisted that no tickets will go on general sale. Instead, they will only be distributed to the clubs via county committees.

Alan Milton, the GAA's Head of Communications, spoke of the decision to slash prices.

He said: "It's become common practice - not just for All-Ireland finals, but for large numbers of our fixtures when there is a replay involved.

"It's up to the discretion of the organising committee. In this case it is the Central Council, so the gesture has been made to reduce the ticket price from €80 to €60 and that's a 25% discount.

"After the fare we saw in the drawn game, I don't think there will be many people complaining about €60 if we get anything approaching it in the replay."

Reports emerged that some tickets were being sold via online re-sale platforms for as much as €590. However, the GAA have warned fans against purchasing tickets this way, as anything sold above face value on the black market could be cancelled.

One problem the GAA could face regarding the replay is that Dublin Bus staff are scheduled to be taking industrial action and going out on strike on October 1.

"We would be disappointed but this is beyond our remit," said Milton. "We would like to think that common sense will prevail and that all parties will continue to work towards a resolution.

"But GAA people are flexible and I have no doubt that they will find a way to Croke Park.

"There is no getting away from it, it won't help traffic in the city and we will have to look at finding some form of entertainment earlier in the day to try and get people to arrive earlier in a staggered fashion."

This is the first time a football final has gone to a replay since it took two games to separate Galway and Kerry in the 2000 series. Moving the replay to a Saturday night has been a bold move, but one embraced by the Association, believes Milton.

"After the success of Cork and Clare in 2013 (hurling final replay), Central Council took the decision that future All-Ireland final replays in either code would be on a Saturday night," he said.

"Lots of people who have a Sunday off can get home to wherever they need to be and return to work on a Monday."

It is unclear if any action will be taken against Dublin defender James McCarthy after a half-time incident at the weekend.

McCarthy was dismissed following a black card in the first half after colliding with Mayo captain Cillian O'Connor. When the teams left the field at half-time, McCarthy came down from his seat in the stand and allegedly caught O'Connor with a shoulder in the tunnel.

Protocols will also be tightened for the replay after some physical confrontation in the tunnel area.

Former Mayo player John Casey, working as a pundit for Midwest Radio, was at the scene. He said: "There was skelping in the tunnel, I was shaking.

"I'm not going to tell you a lie, I was scared down there… these lads just went hammer and tongs at each other."

Belfast Telegraph


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