GAA issues black market warning as ticket demand hits fever pitch
The GAA has been forced to issue a warning about the source of tickets for the All-Ireland hurling and football finals as interest soars through the roof.
GAA director general Paraic Duffy has revealed that demand is so high the Association could have offloaded up to 230,000 tickets collectively for the two finals in Croke Park.
Such demand has caused a black market frenzy, with the Association warning yesterday about unauthorised websites selling tickets.
Pointing out that tickets are distributed through clubs and county boards, it warned in a statement: "Any tickets on touting websites the GAA are made aware of, where the section and seat number can be established, are automatically cancelled.
"The Association also routinely monitors ticket touting websites and, where possible, endeavours to establish where the ticket originated and take action where necessary."
The demand for the football final will be particularly intense with Donegal contesting a first final in 20 years and Mayo bidding to end their All-Ireland famine that stretches back to 1951.
"We have no doubt that if we had a higher capacity (it currently stands at 82,300), we'd sell a huge number of tickets on the open market," Duffy said.
Meanwhile, the recent policy of keeping fans off the pitch for the All-Ireland final presentations will continue. However, the GAA hopes to be in a position to remove the fencing in front of Hill 16 sometime over the next few seasons.
"It was never meant as a long-term arrangement. Once it's accepted that supporters don't come onto the pitch immediately after the game, we will take the fence down," said Duffy.