Across the provinces
Published 01/07/2010 | 05:00
Football is down by 19pc, while hurling shows a massive 78pc increase. When hurling is adjusted to take account of the Galway-Offaly replay, overall attendances show an increase of almost 40pc on last year. Hurling's upward trend is expected to continue on Sunday when last year's attendance of 29,463 at the Dublin-Kilkenny final is expected to be beaten by the Galway-Kilkenny decider.
Games involving Dublin are always the big crowd-puller in football, but they showed a significant drop this year. A total of 125,109 watched their two games last year, but it was down to 109,792 this season, despite the fact that Sunday's Dublin-Meath game was part of a double-header with Louth and Westmeath.
A drop of around 5,000 in football which, for the second successive year, featured a Kerry-Cork replay. The attendance at the drawn game in Killarney was up 3,579 on last year's corresponding clash, but the crowd at the replay was down by 7,242 on 2009, giving an overall deficit of 3,663.
The Limerick hurling stand-off was largely responsible for the decline in hurling. Only 13,638 attended the Cork-Limerick semi-final, a game which would have been expected to draw over 30,000 if Limerick were at full strength. Encouragingly, the attendance at Cork-Tipperary was 1,725 higher than last year.
The football championship dropped by a total of 17,617. The draw and the sequence of results didn't help the cause as, unlike last year when proven crowd-pullers like Tyrone v Armagh and Tyrone v Derry drew a total of over 50,561, the highest attendance so far this year was 18,159 for Tyrone v Antrim.
Down 6,501 on last year, but next Saturday's Sligo-Galway replay will more than redress that balance in terms of overall attendance, if not in actual turn-out per game (Connacht had no replays last year). The absence of a Galway-Mayo clash was a factor in the drop. The attendance at the Galway-Sligo semi-final last Sunday was 12,832 whereas a Mayo-Galway clash would have drawn at least 25,000.