Saturday 18 November 2017

GAA to lose €600,000 if Dubs fail

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THE GAA stands to lose up to €600,000 if Dublin misses out on a place in the football league final.

That's the estimated difference between gate receipts for a Division 1 final featuring Dublin and Cork as opposed to Mayo and Cork, which is the only other possible pairing.

Dublin were on a roll after winning their first four games but defeats by Cork and Galway have left them needing to beat Tyrone in Omagh on Sunday week to have any chance to reaching the Division 1 final for the first time since 1999.

If Dublin win and Mayo lose to Cork it will be a Dublin-Cork final. If Dublin win and Mayo win or draw, it will be a Cork-Mayo final.

It's unlikely that Mayo v Cork (Div 1) and Down v Armagh or Donegal (Div 2) finals would attract much more than 30,000 to Croke Park but it could soar to at least 70,000 if Dublin were involved.

Dublin haven't played a Division 1 league final at Croke Park since 1993 (the 1999 final against Cork was at Pairc Ui Chaoimh) when they beat Donegal in a replay.

However, they were involved in some massive occasions in recent years, including last year's clash with Tyrone, which attracted 79,161 to Croke Park on launch night.

It returned gate receipts of €993,556 which, remarkably, was more than the rest of the subsequent Division 1 games, including the final, put together. Those 28 games returned €805,137.

Last year's attendance for the Div 1 (Kerry-Derry) and Div 2 (Cork-Monaghan) finals at Croke Park was a disappointing 20,545.

Cork are 4/9 favourites to add the Division 1 title to the Division 2 crown they won last year; Mayo are 2/1, with Dublin the 11/1 outsiders.

Irish Independent

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