Limerick and Wexford’s provincial successes are expected to provide windfalls for the GAA later this month.
A combined 95,534 watched their victories over Tipperary and Kilkenny on Sunday and they could both help to attract over 70,000 over successive days in their All-Ireland semi-finals on July 27 and 28.
A crowd of 71,073 took in the exciting Limerick-Cork last-four game last year and there will be a repeat of that fixture should Cork and Tipperary advance. As repeat provincial final pairings in All-Ireland semi-finals are those the GAA are keenest to avoid, Cork would face Limerick despite them having already played this summer.
For Wexford’s last All-Ireland semi-final appearance in 2007, 54,924 were in attendance but they hadn’t qualified for the game as Leinster champions. When they did previously in 2004 against Cork, Croke Park was thronged.
The 44,052 in LIT Gaelic Grounds on Sunday brought the total attendances for this year’s Munster SHC to 281,208, an increase of over 11% from the 249,027 figure. That was in spite of the two Walsh Park games where the attendances were down over 3,000 from Waterford’s “home” games in Limerick and Thurles last year.
Largely thanks to Wexford, the Leinster SHC crowds caught up on the 2018 numbers (excluding last year’s final replay). After the round-robin figures were down to 92,386 this year from 106,387, Sunday’s bumper 51,482 attendance brought this year’s total to 143,868, just over 3,000 shy of last season.
A healthy crowd is also expected in Limerick on Saturday as Mayo face Connacht runners-up Galway in the final round of the All-Ireland qualifiers.
The presence of Mayo in the same group as Kerry and Donegal would be sweet music for the GAA’s financial department. The winners of Galway and Mayo face Kerry in Fitzgerald Stadium the following weekend.