Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 31 August 2014

3,000 extra tickets for Donegal-Laois clash

Officials happy extra 3,000 seats enough to satisfy demand as champions put title on line

Colm Keys

Published 26/07/2013 | 05:00

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12 February 2012; Colm Begley, Laois, manages to score a point despite the efforts of Paddy McGrath, Donegal. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Round 2, Donegal v Laois, O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

The capacity of Carrick-on-Shannon has been raised to nearly 12,000 for tomorrow evening's All-Ireland qualifier between Donegal and Laois.

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With certain health and safety stipulations met this week, Leitrim County Board have been able to lift the numbers they can cater for to just under the 12,000 mark.

The GAA are satisfied that this will accommodate the crowd that wants to attend. Donegal had been dubious about the capacity of the venue which, earlier in the week, was understood to have been 9,331.

They had suggested Clones as a venue and had conveyed their displeasure at the choice of venue to the GAA earlier in the week.

But with close to an extra 3,000 now being allowed in thanks to minor remedial works being carried out during the week, more tickets are expected to be released.

Kingspan Breffni Park wasn't considered because of Cavan's involvement at Croke Park in the qualifiers, while Longford's capacity wasn't sufficient, so it became a choice between Dr Hyde Park and Carrick-on-Shannon.

The prospect of a full house is on the cards as the All-Ireland champions put their title on the line.

Meanwhile, over 40,000 are expected in Semple Stadium for Sunday's All-Ireland hurling quarter-final double bill. Cork and Kilkenny is the curtain raiser despite being the bigger crowd-puller. With Nowlan Park hosting Bruce Springsteen on Sunday night, this affords Kilkenny officials, players and supporters time to return for the concert.

It is understood that there is significant demand for seats in Semple Stadium, a trend that GAA officials have noticed in recent seasons.

Croke Park's triple-header of qualifiers involving Cavan/London, Galway/Cork and Meath/Tyrone may only draw in the region of 20,000 tomorrow night. Cavan and Meath will bring the biggest support because of proximity, but there may have been an anticipation that Armagh would be on the programme when this fixture was made.

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