€550 Touts fleecing fans despite GAA warning over All-Ireland tickets
DESPITE stern warnings from the GAA that any member who sells an All-Ireland final ticket on the black market will face sanctions if identified, internet sites are continuing to offer a wide range of deals for Sunday’s Cork-Down clash.
Advertisements have also been placed in newspapers in what is a more traditional ploy by touts to acquire tickets.
One internet site was yesterday claiming to have tickets in all areas of Croke Park and was quoting €550 for a premium level seat, ranging down to €380 for the Upper Davin Stand. The face value of stand tickets (except premium levels) is €70.
Another advertisement was offering two Hogan Stand premium level seats for €1,100, throwing in the added attraction that they were “next to the bar.”
Two Cusack Stand tickets were on offer for €800 with a promise to “deliver anywhere, anytime in Ireland.” Yet another offered to provide Hogan Stand tickets in exchange for tickets for the Ireland-England Six Nationals rugby clash next spring, an event which will also attract big interest among touts.
Because football has a greater penetration than hurling across the country, its final attracts bigger ticket demands. It increases further when, as in Down’s case this year, a county reaches the final after a lengthy absence.
Two finals involving Down hold the record for All-Ireland final attendances with 87,768 having attended their clash with Kerry in 1960 and 90,556 – the largest ever – watching them complete the two-in-a-row against Offaly a year later.
The big demands for tickets provides fertile pickings for the black market business, but the GAA are determined to do all they can to track down tickets which ends up in the hands of touts.
“We want tickets to go to people who deserve them which is why we distribute as many as we possibly can to our counties and clubs.
“We certainly do not want to see them end up in the hands of touts who charge extortionate prices for them.
“We’ll do all in our power to track down tickets that come on the black market and take whatever action we can against those who provided them at source,” said GAA Director General, Paraic Duffy.
Any ticket found to have come through the black market will be cancelled. That would prevent the holder gaining access to Croke Park as the cancelled bar code is picked up by the scanner.
Said Duffy: “We recognise that where there’s a big demand for tickets – as is the case for every All-Ireland final – people will always try to make a profit. Our intention is to block those openings in so far as we possibly can.”