Agency prices All-Ireland tickets at 1000 a pair

THE GAA is to investigate how a British ticket agency got its hands on precious All-Ireland football final tickets which it is offering at 1,000 a pair.

The report has provoked outrage among Armagh and Kerry fans, whose counties get just 7,500 tickets each for the 79,500-capacity venue.

The remaining tickets will go to the 30 other counties and the corporate sector.

A GAA spokesperson said: “We will look at what happened but we’re not even sure if the agency have got the tickets yet. They seem to be working on a promise.”

The GAA will have to get the ticket numbers if they are to successfully trace the tickets being sold by London-based Primesports International.

The agency, which is selling a pair of Hogan Stand tickets valued at 45 each for more than 1,000, told potential buyers the tickets can be collected at any Dublin Hotel.

Primesports International refused to comment yesterday.

Fine Gael sports spokesperson Jimmy Deenihan said last night that a law should be introduced to prevent tickets being sold above their face value.

He said: “This is something that we’ve called on the Government to do in the past, and it would go some way to solving the problem.

“I also think that the GAA should devise a system where the hard-working volunteers at club level are given priority for big games.”

Deputy Deenihan said he is aware of clubs in non-competing counties selling on tickets to try and raise funds.

The development of Croke Park has increased its capacity by almost 12,000 to 79,500 but supporters of finalists Kerry and Armagh are unhappy this still leaves them with just 15,000 tickets between them.

Last year, 12,000 tickets were allocated to the corporate sector and close to 21,000 to the other 28 counties.

Allocations to these groups are expected to increase slightly next week.

If all the tickets are not taken up, they will be returned to the participating counties a few days before the final.

“There is always more demand than supply of tickets for the All-Ireland Final,” a GAA spokesperson said.

It’s estimated the GAA will make more than 30m from gates receipts alone this year.

More than 30,000 fans are expected to travel from Armagh for the game. It is the county’s first All-Ireland final in 25 years.

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