GAA predicts hurling replay sell-out despite late throw-in
THE GAA has predicted that the All-Ireland Hurling Final replay will be another sell-out – despite changing the time and day for the match.
Croke Park chiefs yesterday announced a 5pm throw-in time for the replay which will take place on Saturday, September 28.
GAA communications manager Alan Milton said the decision to hold the replay on a Saturday evening was made after consultation with the gardai in an effort to avoid traffic congestion.
"It's purely a traffic management and a congestion issue. The guards are the experts in this area and we work closely with them in the organisation of all our events and the replay will be no different," Mr Milton told the Irish Independent.
"If you look back over our games on Saturdays over the course of the championship you'll see there is a consistency there with later throw-in times.
"We rarely hold major events any earlier on a Saturday afternoon because it's a busy day for a number of reasons. Saturday afternoon is quite different to a weekday afternoon in terms of traffic because there'll be more people coming into the city doing shopping and other activities."
The decision means the Ladies Football Final will not be moved to accommodate the replay on a Sunday, which happened year.
Like last year, the GAA has amended ticket prices for the replay with stand tickets reduced from €80 to €50 and terrace tickets from €40 to €25. Juvenile tickets will be available from €10 for fans from Cork and Clare only.
Mr Milton said the amended prices would ensure another full house at Croke Park and said it could be the largest sporting event in western Europe this summer.
Business groups have welcomed the 5pm throw-in time. CEO of the Dublin Business Improvement District Richard Guiney said the replay could generate up to €2m for hotels, shops and restaurants.
see sport: pages 62-63