'Super 8s' will increase quarter-final attendances by over 100,000
The inaugural 'Super 8s' All-Ireland football quarter-finals will attract total attendances of around 280,000 over the next three weekends, provided qualification for the semi-finals is still on the line going into the final round.
Even allowing for tomorrow's clash with the World Cup final, around 100,000 are expected to attend this weekend's four games in Croke Park.
All but one - Dublin v Roscommon in the final round - of the remaining seven games will be at provincial venues, which will experience quarter-final action for the first time since 2001.
The only games where ticket demand will exceed supply are Tyrone v Dublin in Omagh next Saturday and Kildare v Galway in Newbridge tomorrow week.
Last year's five quarter-finals (Mayo v Roscommon went to a replay) drew total attendances of 180,000. It will be over 100,000 more this year if all eight counties are in with a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals going into the final round on the first weekend of August.
However, that's by no means certain and is reliant on no county losing their first two games. Dublin (1/20), Kerry (1/6), Galway (4/6) and Donegal (1/1) are favourites to reach the semi-finals, which will be played on August 11/12.
Meanwhile, the Waterford county board have refuted criticisms by Martin Cullen, former Minister for Sport, over the redevelopment of Walsh Park. Earlier this month, Cullen, a Waterford native, criticised the county board over their handling of a proposal to build a new stadium in Carriganore ten years ago. He said that he would have been able to deliver the €25million project if the board 'hadn't dropped the ball'.
The board hit back yesterday, insisting that no formal offer was ever made by the Minister.
"No figure of any description was offered or presented and the Waterford county board would call on Martin Cullen to withdraw his comments or produce documentation to substantiate such a claim," noted their statement.