Sunday’s Division 1 and 2 finals double-header could challenge the record attendance for a National Football League fixture. The largest crowd stands at 81,678 for the 2007 Division 1 opener between Dublin and then All-Ireland champions Tyrone when Croke Park’s floodlights were debuted.
The pair met again at GAA HQ two years later to start the league and commence the GAA’s 125th anniversary. That game was watched by almost 80,000. In February 2003, a crowd of 54,000 watched All-Ireland champions Armagh beat Dublin in another first round game in Croke Park. As in 2007 and ’09, pyrotechnics will be involved in the non-football entertainment as over 1,000 volunteers contribute to the Laochra 1916 theatrical commemoration, which is being staged by Tyrone Productions.
As of Monday, over 50,000 tickets had been sold for Sunday with only upper Hogan Stand, lower and upper Davin Stand, and Hill 16 tickets available for general sale. Stand tickets for adults are priced at €35 and €5 for U16s. Hill 16 admission is €20.
Even the participating teams are excited about the post-match spectacle with Jim Gavin informing the media on Tuesday of his intention to take in Laochra before his post-match press conference.
“It’s a special day for the Gaelic Athletic Association, a commemorative day. It’s good to see all the clubs throughout the island of Ireland represented. It’s going to a special occasion and two great games of football, hopefully.”
Fans are likely to be warned to arrive early due to a planned Sinn Féin march to celebrate the exact date of the Easter Rising 100 years ago.
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