Hoops roll up for Juve sell-out
SHAMROCK ROVERS fans snapped up the precious tickets for Thursday's Europa League tie against Juventus last night, with the entire amount sold in one session after UEFA refused a request to install 4,000 extra seats in Tallaght Stadium.
Juventus have received an allocation of 400 for the 5,800 capacity venue, and further space is taken up by VIP guests and a larger than usual media presence, meaning that just over 5,000 tickets were up for grabs and offered exclusively to Hoops season ticket holders and club members. The queues built up throughout the afternoon before the stalls opened at 7.0, and the full complement of tickets was dispatched.
The League of Ireland side needed special dispensation to install temporary seating for the game, which would have opened up access to the wider public, but European football's governing body said no.
However, that's the only disappointing news for the Dubliners in what has otherwise been a profitable few days. The offer of a season ticket for the remaining seven games of the league season -- which included access to the Juve game -- has reaped dividends, with 250 snapped up yesterday morning and the remaining 250 selling throughout the day at the special price of €100, thus providing another €50,000 for the coffers.
Yet the real windfall will come from television money and the deal agreed with Mediaset, Silvio Berlusconi's company, who won the Italian rights for Luigi Delneri's first competitive game as Juventus manager.
They will pay over €200,000 for the exclusivity, while RTE have also stumped up to secure the Irish rights after confirming the Tallaght encounter will be broadcast live on both television and radio. With news stations also chipping in, the benefit for Rovers under that heading will push closer to €300,000.
Special merchandise has been produced for the occasion and the club has also looked into setting up a pre-game Fanfest, similar to those operated at major championship venues in the World Cup or European Championships. However, time restrictions may yet work against them.