Munster hurling championship starts with a bang as Walsh Park to sell out for Waterford's return home
Walsh Park is set for a sell-out on Sunday week for the first Munster hurling championship game at the Waterford city venue for 23 years.
Due to health and safety considerations, a capacity of 11,050 has been set for the Waterford v Clare game. Tickets are being distributed in both counties and will only go on general sale if there are returns next week.
Demand is running high for what will be Waterford's first experience of Munster 'round robin' action on home ground. They were forced to play Tipperary and Cork in the Gaelic Grounds and Semple Stadium respectively last year, after which they insisted that they would not be leaving Walsh Park for their home games this season.
"This is a great boost for the Waterford team and for the city. We're entitled to two home games like all the other counties," said Waterford chairman Paddy Joe Ryan. The last Munster SHC game in Walsh Park was Waterford v Tipperary in 1996.
Meanwhile, Cork County Board have given assurances that Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be in good order the Cork-Tipperary round robin clash on Sunday week.
It was closed after the pitch cut up badly during an Allianz League double-header on February 3. It has undergone remedial work since then and Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy told a county board meeting this week that they were "ready to go".
The Munster Council are optimistic that last year's bumper attendance figures will hold up, or maybe even be surpassed. Limerick's All-Ireland success has increased interest in this year's championship, where the round robin will run on five weekends from May 12 to June 16, with the final on June 30. The total turnout last year was 249,017, an increase of 95 per cent on the previous year.