IT may be the most anticipated football final in years, but it’s not the hottest ticket in town — at least not where touts are concerned.
Indications are that tickets are not making the madly exorbitant prices they fetched in previous years — up to €1,000 per pair in some cases during the Celtic Tiger era.
The internet auction site eBay yesterday had a highest bid of €540 for a pair of lower tier Cusack Stand tickets, near the 45-metre line, which fell well short of prices being sought earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, for instance, €810 was being demanded for a pair of lower tier Cusack Stand tickets. If purchased from official GAA sources, each ticket has a face value of €70.
There were other offers on eBay of around €450 for pairs of tickets in unspecified sections of Croke Park. But fans will have the chance of buying tickets at face value at well-known gathering points, such as outside the Gresham Hotel, the Royal Dublin Hotel, or Barry’s Hotel, tomorrow morning.
The presentation of the Sam Maguire Cup, meanwhile, will be made to the winning captain in the Hogan Stand — whether, or not, fans run on to the pitch.
The GAA authorities are appealing to fans to remain in the stands and on Hill 16, amid fears that someone may be seriously injured in the traditional post- match crush caused by tens of thousands of people running on to the pitch.
“This is primarily for health and safety reasons. It [large crowds of supporters on the pitch] can also be very dangerous for players,” a GAA spokesman added.
Despite throwing a cordon of stewards around the edge of the playing area and hiring extra security, the GAA failed to keep fans from getting on to the pitch after the hurling final two weeks ago. As a result, plans to hold the presentation to the winning Kilkenny team on the pitch had to be abandoned.
Meanwhile, bookmakers agree there’s very little between Cork and Kerry and that it’s going to be a very close battle before a capacity 82,000-plus attendance, with Cork the slightest of favourites.
Both Paddy Power and Boylesports were yesterday offering exactly the same odds — Cork evens, Kerry 11/10 and 15/2 about a draw.
At the same time, rivalry between fans continues to manifest itself in strange ways. Cork ‘invaders’ are striking into Kerry territory, painting road linings red on the county bounds, near Ballyvourney.
A statue of a unicorn, which stands on a high ledge overlooking the main Cork/Kerry road at Clonkeen, has been painted red and white. Not to be outdone, however, Kerry fans climbed up and put green and gold flags around the unicorn’s neck and tail.
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