Clare county secretary Pat Fitzgerald has admitted this week that the number of fans travelling to see Banner games in recent times has fallen far short of the glory years in the 1990s. It seems that they are again likely to be outnumbered by a sea of blue and white according to the GAA.ie’s project manager Niamh O’Shea.
“Waterford have snapped up about 70% of the tickets available so far,” O’Shea confirmed yesterday. “Waterford haven’t really been in Croke Park for a long time (1998 excepted) and the Munster final win seems to have generated huge interest. We’re certainly getting orders from a lot of people who we wouldn’t have dealt with before. Tickets are becoming something of a Holy Grail.”
GAA president Sean McCague speaking at the launch of the 2002 International Rules Series noted the growing trend in Ireland towards purchasing tickets for sporting events prior to the day in question. The buying frenzy in Waterford is just the latest surge in online sales that GAA.ie has seen since first offering the service for the International Rules Series two years ago in Croke Park.
“Last year we would put tickets up for sale on a Monday before a game and there would still be some available that Thursday,” said O’Shea. “For the Clare-Waterford game we put the same amount of tickets on sale as we normally would at 10am on the Monday and the first allocation was sold out by four o’clock that afternoon. The second allocation we received is currently on sale and they are going very quickly this time too.”
The website offers online ticket sales for any GAA match which offers pre-match tickets and the individual provincial councils have been using the system to sell seats online with some success too - with the Ulster Council enjoying particular success in that regard.
GAA.ie receives a smaller allocation than the participating counties, a maximum of six tickets are available per person who logs on to purchase.