The €20million replay: Ireland's capital gears up for Dublin and Mayo bonanza
TODAY’S All-Ireland final replay will bring a €20m cash injection as the Boys in Blue vie for a historic two in a row.
The clash will bring some 82,000 people to Croker and thousands more into the city to soak up the atmosphere, which experts say will boost footfall in the capital by about 5pc.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce estimates that the final will boost revenue in the city by a massive €20m. The 11th-hour cancellation of planned bus strikes means that businesses will cash in on the full potential of a rare October All-Ireland weekend.
“For Sunday games, the tendency is to come up for the game and travel home after. But all the signs are that many are opting to make a weekend of it this time,” Graeme McQueen, of the Dublin Chamber told the Herald.
“Dublin Chamber estimates that the All-Ireland replay will be worth up to €20m to the city’s hospitality sector.
“That’s good news for the city’s hotels, restaurants and bars. The increased footfall in the city this weekend will also come as a welcome boost for the city’s retailers who have been hit hard in recent weeks by the Dublin Bus strikes,” he added.
Dublin Town, which also represents businesses in the city, said it expects the footfall to increase by 5pc – a welcome jump after the recent strikes.
“We’re obviously delighted buses are running, we’re looking forward to people enjoying the city on such a big occasion which will hopefully get people spending,” Mr Guiney said.
The body representing businesses in one of the city’s most visited tourist districts has also said it will be prepared for the extra influx of punters.
Martin Harte, of the Temple Bar Company, said that the area is well practiced in dealing with larger crowds and that the day should be a very positive one for businesses in the area.
“These matches do bring people in to the city and it will be a very positive increase for businesses, which will add to the overall gaiety in the city,” he said.
“On a regular basis we deal with large crowds, and today it will be no issue,” Mr Harte added.
Meanwhile, for those who won’t make it past the turnstiles in Croker there has been a call for change in how the GAA doles out tickets for the finals. While the GAA declined to reveal how the tickets for the final are distributed between the counties this week, one Dublin club revealed it was not pleased with the number of tickets if received.
A spokesperson for Ballymun Kickhams, which boasts the highest number of players from one club on the Dublin panel, said they were “not at all” happy with their ticket allocation.
“It’s certainly bad, there are a lot of very unhappy club members tonight, it’s worse than the last match because the demand is so high,” a spokesman said.
Last time around fans questioned the distribution of tickets, arguing that it was clear there were more Mayo fans in Croker on the day.
Barry Fennell, who heads the Hill 16 Army supporters club, said a review into the matter needs to take place.
“We want to see tickets being distributed fairly to the two competing countries,” he said.
“The All-Ireland final is the only game throughout the championship where tickets do not go on general sale, they are sent to clubs throughout the county,” he said.
“I’ve no issue with Mayo or their supporters, it’s the GAA… we deserve to know these answers,” he added.
The GAA also declined to comment when asked what happens to tickets not used by non-competing counties.