Walk-up crowd caused Thurles delay

The Munster Council have explained an extraordinary walk-up crowd compelled them to postpone the throw-in time of last Sunday’s Kerry-Tipperary Munster SFC semi-final in Thurles.

Walk-up crowd caused Thurles delay

The game was pushed back by 15 minutes as a much larger-than-expected 11,428 crowd was recorded and more time was required to deal with patrons who had turned up to purchase tickets outside Semple Stadium.

Organisers also had to open up the Old (Kinane) Stand to accommodate the extra numbers, supporters moving from the New (Ryan) Stand via the Town End terrace.

“There was just under 4,000 seats sold by Saturday,” said Munster Council PRO Ger Ryan. “Normally, the usual walk-up crowd would suggest to you no more than 7,000 on the day.

“The previous week (Waterford v Cork), there were 18,000 pre-sold and 3,000 of a walk-up crowd.

“Sometimes, more people will walk up when there’s no pressure for tickets. You could mention the weather on Sunday too but there was a much better crowd than when they met the last time in Killarney when there was 8,000 and 6,000 the last time they met in Thurles. Nothing pointed to a crowd of this size.

“In addition, over 35% of the crowd didn’t enter the stadium until after 3.15pm. People who arrived had to get tickets and then go through the turnstile when they felt there wouldn’t be a big crowd whereas we have a very accessible range of options to buy tickets from Centra and SuperValu. There are 20 outlets between Tipperary and Kerry or you could have bought a ticket online.

“All of those factors combined and so we took the view that in order to get everybody in the best thing was to delay the game by 15 minutes.

“I think we had everybody in within one to two minutes of the game starting. We opened the Old Stand when we saw people filling into the ends of the New (Ryan) Stand.”

Meanwhile, the attendance for Sunday’s Munster SHC semi-final between Limerick and Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds could reach over 30,000 with both stands expected to sell out in the next day or two.

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