Wednesday 21 February 2018

Dubs set to remain in Croke Park for Spring Series, reveals GAA director general Paraic Duffy

GAA director general Paraic Duffy
GAA director general Paraic Duffy
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

DUBLIN'S footballers will return to Croke Park for the Spring Series next year, GAA director general Paraic Duffy has confirmed.

Falling attendances and the difficulty in finding dates that could see them double up with the county's hurlers had thrown the series into doubt but Duffy expects details to be finalised this week.

"There may be a problem with double bills but it's definitely going ahead with football and it's a matter for Dublin after that," Duffy (above) said at the launch of Sportsfile's 'A Season of Sundays' book.

"Dublin have indicated they intend to play in Croke Park and my understanding is that there is a meeting this week between Dublin and Croke Park to finalise it. Our hope is to get it done earlier than other years and we are working on the basis it will be in Croke Park."

This year saw the lowest crowd at a Spring Series game since its inception in 2011 as only 10,000 turned out to watch Jim Gavin's side take on Down. However, Dublin's alternative venue, Parnell Park can hold only 9,000.

"I think it has been hugely successful," Duffy said of the series. "Dublin have four home games and if you play them in Parnell Park you are talking about a total of 35-40,000 people and you are talking double or treble that in Croke Park.

"It gets the year off to a good start, in the past number of years patrons have shown they will come so it wouldn't make sense for Dublin to go to Parnell Park."

Duffy didn't rule out another game being fixed for the Jones' Road venue. Earlier this year, Kildare switched their home tie with Donegal to Croke Park.

Elsewhere, the much-maligned inter-provincial series were dealt another blow after it was confirmed the finals won't take place in Texas next year as had been mooted.

"That's gone," Duffy confirmed. "An approach came from Dallas but the figures weren't adding up so it's dead and buried now."

Officials are exploring alternative venues.

Irish Independent

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