Saturday 24 September 2016

Black-market tickets will be cancelled, warn GAA in war on touting​

Published 25/08/2016 | 07:40

Dublin's match with Kerry this weekend is a complete sell-out
Dublin's match with Kerry this weekend is a complete sell-out

The GAA has warned that anyone who buys a ticket at above face value for the All-Ireland hurling or football finals risks being refused access to Croke Park.

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It comes as the annual ticket scramble for the season’s showpiece games gathers momentum. Two Dublin-based websites were yesterday advertising tickets at prices ranging from €495 to €650 each, depending on their location. 

However, the advertisements were removed following attempts by the Irish Independent to contact the companies involved.

Stand tickets for the finals have a face value of €80.

“GAA members will know that tickets for the finals are never put on general sale. They are distributed through our various units as well as to our premium level/long-term and corporate box holders,” said Alan Milton, GAA head of communications.

As part of the battle with touts, the GAA acquires some tickets which are selling at above face value and trace them back to their point of origin within the Association’s own network.

“We have robust procedures in place. We have the facility to cancel any ticket in any part of the ground if we know that it has been sold on the black market,” Milton said.

“So if someone gets a ticket off a website or through some other touting source, they could well find themselves blocked at the turnstiles. They can end up with an expensive ticket that’s useless.”

Long-term and/or premium ticket holders who are found to have sold tickets on the black market risk having their contracts cancelled.

“We have done that in the past. Every year, we have thousands of genuine GAA supporters who can’t get tickets, which is why we have a zero-tolerance policy. Our distribution system is as tight as it possibly can be but obviously we can’t keep track of every single ticket. But we act immediately if we know a ticket has been sold on the black market,” said Milton.

He added that the GAA would welcome legislation on the touting issue.

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