GAA launches war against All-Ireland final ticket touts as prices reach €375
Black market sellers facing heavy sanctions as prices hit €375
The GAA have warned that they are hot on the trail of All-Ireland final ticket holders who are trading on the black market.
It comes as one website is openly advertising tickets for the Kilkenny-Tipperary hurling final on Sunday week for prices ranging between €250 and €375 each, depending on their location.
Another website is carrying a picture of two premium level tickets, with the row and section blacked out, but with the seat numbers shown, in order to prove that they are together. The bid price was €405 last night.
A third website is inviting the public to enter a raffle for tickets, with an entry charge of €6.05.
Since the GAA do not sell All-Ireland final tickets directly to the public, Croke Park are determined to track the source of the black market activity and take appropriate action.
"Thousands of genuine GAA supporters can't get All-Ireland final tickets so we don't want some unscrupulous people who get their hands on them, by whatever means, making a killing on the black market," said Alan Milton, GAA head of media relations.
"We bought tickets from unofficial sources last year, checked where they came from and cancelled contracts for premium and other long-term deals. We'll do the same again this year.
"Some premium ticket holders came to us last year and provided us with evidence where they knew that tickets had been sold on the black market."
If the GAA ascertains that a ticket has been bought on the black market, it will be cancelled, leaving the purchaser locked out of Croke Park.
"The message is clear. Don't buy on the black market, or you may not get in, and don't sell on the black market because we're tracking it and will take action against those involved," said Milton.
The Irish Independent contacted a website offering a range of hurling final tickets and were told that there was a plentiful supply available. We were also told to move quickly as prices would rise as demand increased in the days before the final.