GAA gold for capital as football fans rush for tickets
Published 01/09/2015 | 02:30
Thousands of GAA fans have been left fuming after "technical difficulties" robbed them of a chance to secure tickets for the All-Ireland semi final replay.
Supporters spent most of yesterday attempting to buy tickets in shops and through the GAA's official online ticket agent.
Sunday's drawn game between Dublin and Mayo should ensure another full house at Croke Park this Saturday for the rematch.
Super Valu and Centra stores sell tickets through the Tickets.ie website.
A spokeswoman for Tickets.ie said that tickets released on Monday morning sold out in less than an hour.
"There was an unprecedented demand for tickets for this fixture. The demand was so high that some users experienced difficulty accessing tickets online and many fans were unfortunately left disappointed as demand for tickets far exceeded supply," she said.
"Over 73,240 fans tried to purchase tickets online via the GAA's ticketing partner, Tickets.ie."
But those who queued to buy tickets from an official GAA outlet in Dublin city could purchase as many tickets as they liked. Some left with up to a dozen tickets.
The GAA admitted last night that it was surprised by the demand for tickets, but said it was "unaware" of any technical issue.
"There was no limit to the number of tickets sold at the shop but there was a limit online," the GAA spokesman said.
The big sporting weekend ahead will deliver a financial windfall for hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs.
Business owners say the Dublin-Mayo clash alone will pump over €2.75m into the local economy.
And coupled with Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final between Galway and Kilkenny, the city overall will benefit to the tune of over €5m.
Business sources also say the fact that the Dublin and Mayo football semi-final is taking place on a Saturday means more fans travelling up from the country will "make a weekend of it" and decide to stay overnight in the city's hotels and B&Bs.
"From an economic standpoint, replays such as this match are very important to the local economy and definitely give retailers a most welcome boost," said Dublin's Chamber of Commerce communications manager, Patrick King.
Hotels and restaurants in particular should expect a brisk trade as demand for accommodation, food and drink spikes considerably on big match days, he added.
"In total, the city's business owners will benefit, with an estimated €5m being spent over the course of the weekend," said Richard Guiney, chief executive of business grouping DublinTown.
"And because the Irish rugby team are also playing on Saturday, a lot of people will watch the games while in a pub, generating more money for the publicans.
"They'll get a few extra hundred thousand euro out of that," he added.
Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said the financial boost to the coffers will be "massive".