THE BIGGEST hurling ticket hunt in Limerick since the All-Ireland final of 2007 is underway following news that the Munster final will be played at Cork’s Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
It was officially confirmed this Tuesday by the Munster Council that the Cork stadium will host the July 13 hurling showpiece between Limerick and Cork- leaving up to 10,000 Limerick supporters without a ticket for the game.
“In reality, less people from Limerick will be able to attend the Munster final than attended the Munster semi-final,” said Oliver Mann, chairman of Limerick County Board this Wednesday.
“I have had a couple of calls from people expressing their disappointment. The people aren’t giving out about the fact that it is on in Cork - they are giving out about the fact that there won’t be tickets. The capacity is the issue.”
In a statement the Munster Council confirmed the capacity at 32,168.
However, it is hoped further tickets can be added after the Cork County Board meet a number of demands including the completion of remedial works, in the coming days.
The upper limit on the attendance will be no more than 37,500 and perhaps more likely 35,000. Given that over 42,000 attended the Gaelic Grounds final last July, at least 5,000 and most likely many more will be left without tickets.
Limerick are likely to receive an allocation of no more than 12,000. It it thought this would include 2,000 stand, 2,500 uncovered stand and 7,000 terrace.
But these figures pale into insignificance compared to last year when Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds sold 14,750 tickets between public sale and the distribution to the clubs. There was also a sale of close to 10,000 tickets in Centra and SuperValu outlets across Limerick. That means at least 25,000 supported John Allen’s men in the Munster SHC of 2013. It appears just over 50% of those will be lucky to attend next month.
It is anticipated that there will be no public sale of tickets this year and it is also uncertain if tickets will be available through Centra and SuperValu stores. It is feared that when the final allocation of tickets arrives with Limerick GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan that the popular family ticket won’t be issued for this game.
The county board chairman anticipates that a final figure on the capacity won’t be given for another week following remedial works. The Munster football final between Cork and Kerry takes place on July 6 at the Cork stadium and Mr Mann anticipates that the final figure will be arrived at on Friday, July 4. “That’s my anticipation because they will have to clean up the stadium for the football final and they are not going to do very much between the Sunday (of the football final) and the following Friday so I would anticipate that the final capacity will be known somewhere around Friday, July 4,” said Mr Mann. “If they do a certain amount of remedial works, 37,500 is the maximum figure that can be arrived upon.” Mike O’Riordan is hoping that he will be able to start allocating tickets to clubs on Monday. Despite the ticket crisis, the focus, Mr Mann says, has to be on the game itself and getting the right result. “The important thing is we are in a Munster final,” said Mr Mann. “The team will be totally focused on going down to Cork to retain their Munster title and that is the bottom line. While we do feel very, very sorry for the people who won’t be able to go, I think the fact that a number of people will not be able to go will actually drive that team on to deliver.”