Friday 19 January 2018

Army to drop in at Croker as Spring Series gets off to a dramatic start

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

TONIGHT's big double-header launch of the Allianz Football League at Croke Park will see the match ball spectacularly abseiled onto the pitch, off the roof of the stands.

In a move that demonstrates just how far the GAA has come from the tradition of getting a bishop to throw in the ball, several members of the Irish army will be involved in the eye-catching stunt, which will be a first for Croke Park.

It is just one part of a show-stopping night designed to boost attendance at HQ and get the National League off to a dramatic start.

It will also include a light show, fireworks and musical entertainment by irreverent Limerick rappers Rubberbandits.

The games themselves are promising enough to attract an expected 40,000-50,000 crowd, as they feature an early-season rematch of last year's All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry, preceded by the Division 2 opener between Kildare and Tyrone.

Like many major stadia across the world, Croke Park is already in the process of introducing roof-top tours as part of their commercial activities and these are expected to begin in May.

A further option for the public to pay to do a zip-line and/or abseil off the Hogan Stand is also part of the GAA's plans but this is not expected to be ready until next October.

Irish Independent

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