Tuesday 24 April 2018

GAA in line for €2.5m windfall

22 July 2012; Stephen Cluxton, Dublin. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Meath, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
22 July 2012; Stephen Cluxton, Dublin. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Meath, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA can expect up to 150,000 fans at seven different inter-county venues in what will be the busiest weekend yet of summer action.

It could reap some €2.5m for GAA revenues at provincial and central level in what has already been a progressive championship for attendances.

Leinster Council are confident Dublin and Meath will draw close to 60,000 for their second successive provincial final on Sunday, a drop of last year's figure of almost 70,000 but a significant number nonetheless.

Munster Council are preparing for their biggest Munster hurling final crowd since 2008, with a capacity 44,082 expected at the Gaelic Grounds for Limerick and Cork.

Five years ago Tipperary and Clare drew some 48,000 to the Gaelic Grounds, which has since had its capacity reduced.

The third phase of All-Ireland hurling qualifiers moves to Thurles tomorrow for a double bill involving Clare versus Wexford and Kilkenny versus Waterford that has a target attendance of just under 20,000.

Work completed on St Conleth's Park in accordance with health and safety regulations has allowed Kildare to bump up capacity to just under 8,000 and despite the despair of losing so heavily to Dublin in the Leinster semi-final last week, a sell-out is expected there too.

The other three qualifier games involving Cavan and Fermanagh, Leitrim and Armagh and Longford and Wexford will draw between 15,000 and 20,000 between them.

Meanwhile, Westmeath minor footballer Israel Ilunga has had his red card from Saturday's Leinster semi-final against Meath rescinded by the Leinster Hearings Committee, liberating him to play in Sunday's final against Kildare.

There had been suggestions Ilunga had been on the receiving end of racial abuse. However, Leinster CHC deemed what Ilunga did unworthy of a red card and have cleared him to play.

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