Thursday 8 December 2016

Dublin-Mayo replay tickets on sale for THREE times their value on online sites

Ryan Nugent

Published 01/09/2015 | 09:32

Mayo fans celebrate their side's equalising point near the end of the drawn game. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Mayo fans celebrate their side's equalising point near the end of the drawn game. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Thousands of GAA fans have been left fuming after a day of ticket chaos left thousands unable to secure precious passes for Saturday's do-or-die All Ireland semi-final replay.

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As supporters rushed to secure a ticket for the eagerly-awaited clash, they were left reeling after "technical difficulties" saw the GAA's online system collapse, leaving thousands unable to complete tickets purchases.

Incredibly, at the same time, those who queued to buy tickets from an official GAA outlet in Dublin city were allowed to buy as many as they liked.

Some lucky fans left the outlet on Dorset Street clutching up to a dozen tickets each.

The GAA admitted last night they were surprised by the demand - even though Sunday's drawn game had already been an 82,000 sell-out.

To make matters worse for angry fans, tickets are now being offered for sale for several times their face value on sites such as donedeal.ie.

One person was offering eight tickets in the Upper Hogan Stand for sale and five more in the Cusack Stand Upper and was seeking €80 each - a €50 mark-up per ticket.

Tickets for the highly-anticipated replay were priced by the GAA at €20 for Hill 16, €30 for the stands and €5 for children.

Other popular ticket swapping sites are expected to be inundated with high-priced tickets in the coming days.

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GAA Fans queue to get tickets for the GAA senior Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo at the GAA Ticket office on Dorset Street, Dublin

Sunday's drawn game between Dublin and Mayo's senior footballers will ensure another full house at Croke Park this Saturday for the rematch.

Yesterday, hundreds of supporters queued in the rain outside the GAA ticket office in Dublin hoping to secure tickets.

Separately, the Herald can reveal that more than 73,000 people tried to buy tickets through the Tickets.ie website.

However, with many of the passes for the 82,000 capacity stadium being allocated to GAA clubs around the country, it is understood that only a fraction of those who tried to buy them online succeeded.

When contacted last night, the GAA said they were "un-aware" of any technical issue.

A spokesman refused to reveal the number of tickets bought through general sale yesterday.

When asked why he would not say, he replied: "Why should I? The carving up of tickets between general sale and clubs and counties is GAA business, but it'll be a sold-out stadium."

SuperValu and Centra stores sell tickets through Tickets.ie.

A spokesman for SuperValu said last night: "A limited allocation of tickets for the GAA All-Ireland football semi-final replay was due to go on sale in SuperValu stores from 11am today.

"This was delayed due to technical difficulties with the GAA's ticketing provider (Tickets.ie) as a result of unprecedented demand.

"When tickets went on sale after 1pm, the level of demand outstripped supply due to the limited allocation and tickets quickly sold out."

Demand

A spokeswoman for Tickets.ie told the Herald that tickets released yesterday morning sold out in less than an hour.

"There was an unprecedented demand," she said.

"It was so high that some users experienced difficulty accessing tickets online and many fans were unfortunately left disappointed.

"Over 73,240 fans tried to purchase tickets online via the GAA's official ticketing partner, Tickets.ie."

Some 72pc of these users were accessing the site from Dublin, with 25pc from the rest of the country and 3pc from London.

Fans queued outside the GAA Box Office on Dorset Street for more than four hours, with some leaving with more than a dozen tickets each.

"There was no limit to the number of tickets sold at the shop but there was a limit online," the GAA spokesman said.

It is understood that an eight-ticket limit was put in place later in the day.

"The only reason that would change would be if they were making a conservative effort to cater for everyone in the queue," said the GAA spokesman.

Dublin supporter Joe Rooney (71), from Lucan, complained there was not enough staff on hand to cater for the 200-odd fans queuing outside.

"I'm a Dublin fan all my life and they've treated us like dirt, only having two people on the till," he said.

Mayo man Patrick Moran was also angry at the set-up.

"I'm queuing three hours. It's ridiculous that there are only two guys working the tills inside and there's a queue going back right around the corner and they're not going to get tickets," he said.

The GAA spokesman told the Herald that they had no reason to believe the queues would be so long.

"We did not anticipate that there were going to be queues this morning whatsoever. It hasn't happened before," he said.

"We're not mind-readers - there have been lots of big games this year with no queues on Dorset Street. We were caught unawares."

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