Leinster double act tops bill but it will not be sell-out
TICKETS for Leinster's mouthwatering football semi-final double-header on July 1 went on sale immediately yesterday, but provincial organisers are still not expecting it to be a sell-out.
"We will go very close to 60,000 for it," said Leinster secretary Michael Delaney. "But the reality of the current (economic) climate is that we probably won't have too many sell-outs this year outside of the All-Ireland finals."
Delaney said they hoped to match corresponding figures from last year (58,723), despite the fact that both games are live on television.
TV3 have the rights to Dublin versus Wexford -- a rematch of last year's final -- while RTE have the big Meath v Kildare derby.
The Royals against the Lilies will attract a lot of attention, not least because of a crucial game in the third round of the league this season which saw the sides' seasons take contrasting trajectories afterwards.
Kildare's 0-18 to 2-11 victory in Navan ended their early-season losing streak and sent them on their way to a Division 2 title, while Meath's loss sent them on a spiral that ended in a humiliating loss to Louth and eventual relegation.
At the moment, Leinster has July 1 to itself because the big Ulster SFC semi-final between Donegal and Tyrone is on the Saturday night (June 30).
July 30 is the official date for the first round of the football qualifiers, and one or two of those could yet be moved to the Sunday when the times and venues are confirmed later today.
Leinster's semi-final double-header is still set to be the biggest crowd of the season so far. With that in mind, tickets went out to all the counties involved yesterday morning, and provincial organisers are confident that their numbers will continue to hold up.
"Our quarter-final numbers last weekend (16,178 in Portlaoise) were up on last year's corresponding fixture and, with one exception, all of our games so far have attracted the same or exceeded last year's crowds," Delaney said.
Leinster Council have set up their own on-line television station on their website in the past month, which carries previews and reviews of championship games, interviews with former stars and some coaching information.