Hopes for 6,000 fans at Kerry-Cork Munster SFC final

As Fitzgerald Stadium is predominantly terraced, social distancing isn’t as easy as it would be in stands where tickets have been sold in pods
Hopes for 6,000 fans at Kerry-Cork Munster SFC final

Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Fitzgerald Stadium’s Covid capacity for Sunday week’s Munster SFC final between Kerry and Cork currently stands at 2,500.

However, the provincial council is holding out hope authorities will later this week increase it to as much as 6,000 — 1,000 less than the number that will be allowed entry to this Sunday’s Munster SHC final between Limerick and Tipperary in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

As Fitzgerald Stadium is predominantly terraced, social distancing isn’t as easy as it would be in stands where tickets have been sold in pods. However, standing admissions have been in operation as part of the pilot return of spectators initiative in recent weeks.

Kerry-Cork Munster finals traditionally attract large crowds to the town of Killarney and there is an expectation the first decider between the counties there in four years will do so again. The match will also be the likes of David Clifford and Seán O’Shea’s first home Munster senior decider.

Speaking on Monday, GAA president Larry McCarthy said he hoped Covid capacities would ramp up in the coming weeks with possibly 36,000 being permitted into each of the senior All-Ireland semi-finals next month and perhaps a further increase will be granted for the finals.

“We’ve made very good progress in terms of intercounty attendances over the last couple of weeks thanks to the Minster for Sport Jack Chambers,” he told RTÉ.

“We’re now looking at 18,000 in Croke Park next weekend, and hopefully we’ll ratchet that up to twice that by maybe the All-Ireland semi-finals. And I’m being hopeful here and maybe even more crowds at an All-Ireland final.

"But it all depends on our ability to stick to public health guidelines and this variant as well obviously. We will continue to be extremely careful. The clubs and county board have done a phenomenal job in terms of managing this but hopefully we will see larger crowds. And as I said to the Minister in a conversation last week, the more the merrier.”

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