Thursday 25 December 2014

Fans set to miss out as surge in demand tests Semple capacity to the limit

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

Semple Stadium will be packed with supporters of Tipperary, Dublin, Limerick and Wexford for the All-Ireland hurling semi-finals. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Semple Stadium will be packed with supporters of Tipperary, Dublin, Limerick and Wexford for the All-Ireland hurling semi-finals. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Semple Stadium's capacity will be tested to the limit for Sunday's All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals, featuring Limerick v Wexford and Dublin v Tipperary.

The stadium accommodates around 46,500, a figure that is unlikely to satisfy the demand for two eagerly-awaited contests.

Wexford have expressed annoyance over their stand ticket allocation and asked to have the games moved to Croke Park, but the GAA ruled it out due to administration difficulties.

With Croke Park booked next weekend for the ill-fated Garth Brooks concerts, Thurles was chosen as the quarter-final venue at the beginning of the year.

Tickets were sold for Semple Stadium before the cancellation of the concerts, raising logistical issues if the games were switched to Croke Park when it became available.

The attractiveness of the pairings has prompted a surge in interest above the normal for quarter-finals.

In fact, all the indications are that the attendance will be the biggest since 45,928 watched the Clare v Wexford and Tipperary v Waterford games in Croke Park in 2006.

The record turnout at quarter-finals was set in 2005 when a crowd of 55,587 attended the Cork v Waterford and Clare v Wexford ties in Croke Park.

The attendance at last year's Cork v Kilkenny and Galway v Clare quarter-finals in Thurles was lower than anticipated at 33,283.

Irish Independent

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