One in a million -- loyal fans to enjoy GAA extravaganza
THE GAA expects attendances for the summer's championships to pass the one million mark when Kilkenny take on Waterford in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final in Croke Park on Sunday.
Despite the economic situation, the GAA has seen an increase in attendances on this time last year and to celebrate they will reward their one-millionth supporter with a prize and special presentation this weekend.
They also plan to roll out an extended series of activities on match day for each of the All-Ireland football and hurling semi-finals, which span the next four Sundays.
"In view of the economic situation, we are more than pleased at the way that our attendances have held up and we are grateful for that support," said the GAA's director general Paraic Duffy.
"We want to create a sense of pageantry around the games this weekend and over the next few weeks and make it as good as an experience as we possibly can."
And after a successful trial last weekend, Sunday will see Croke Park feature some of the best up-and-coming Irish bands as well as traditional musicians. In a new departure, there will be on-field half-time match analysis hosted by RTE presenters.
Mr Duffy said tickets were still available for the match -- as well as the hurling semi when Dublin face Tyrone on Saturday evening. "If people come through their club to the weekend's games, a club pass is €10 per person, which I think is excellent value," he said.
"So if 15 people from a club come to Croke Park this weekend they'll get in for €10, which is a really low price for this level of competition. If a club brings their juveniles, it's €3 per juvenile which is extremely competitive and generous."
For Saturday's match, admission costs €20 for Hill 16 and €30 for the stands. Under 16s pay just €5. On Sunday the stands cost €40 and €5 for children. There are no terrace tickets available for Sunday's game.
Tickets are available from ticketmaster, tickets.ie, gaa.ie and various Centra and SuperValu stores.