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GAA to land windfall from Dublin, Mayo replay

By Declan Bogue

The GAA is set to cash in to the tune of €6million this weekend, with two full houses virtually guaranteed at Croke Park.

Already yesterday morning, there were lengthy queues in Dublin and Mayo to secure tickets for the All-Ireland football semi-final replay this Saturday, with the first game being sold out a full two weeks before the ball was thrown in, a rather remarkable record.

On Sunday, it is the turn of fans from Kilkenny and Galway to provide a full house for the senior hurling All-Ireland final.

The GAA has taken the step of reducing ticket prices for the second take of the All-Ireland last-four clash, the first of which finished Mayo 1-15 Dublin 2-12.

Alan Milton, Head of Communications at Croke Park, explained: "We reduced the tickets from €40 to €30 (for the stands) and from €25 to €20 (on Hill 16).

"It's not unprecedented to make a gesture of this sort in these circumstances, so that is what we have decided to do.

"In all my time involved with the GAA we have never come across a semi-final with such demand for tickets.

"That has been replicated this morning. There were queues at Dorset St (the GAA ticket office).

"We shifted thousands of tickets online last night but had to press pause on that to allow the clubs and counties to get their full allocations.

"That obviously has a positive knock-on effect with the money we can generate that we can re-invest in units of the Association."

The first tranche of tickets was released at 9.00am yesterday morning but were sold in a matter of minutes. Another batch was released at 11.00am with similar results.

On both days, Headquarters is expected to be full to the 82,300 capacity, as it was on Sunday past.

For the last three seasons, the hurling final has gone to a replay, with the 2012 showpiece - coincidentally between this weekend's competing teams - the first drawn final since 1959.

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