James Ryan, Centra: 'We had demand, but it wasn’t crazy'
THE Croke Park capacity and the financial constraints associated with following Limerick’s hurlers have been given as reasons for the slow sales of All-Ireland hurling semi-final tickets so far.
GAA headquarters will still most likely host close to 60,000 people on Saturday week, July 27, when Limerick lock horns with Kilkenny, with a place in an August 18 final up for grabs.
But with more than 82,000 places on offer, people appear to be taking their time to snap up tickets, which went on sale on Monday morning after the Cats were confirmed as Limerick’s semi-final opposition.
As of this Wednesday, more than 20,000 tickets had been purchased across the board for the semi-final, which has a 6pm throw-in in Dublin next weekend. Limerick’s minor hurlers face either Galway or Kilkenny, with a 4pm throw-in the same day.
James Ryan, who is authorised to sell tickets at Centra in O’Connell Street, said there has been a “trickle, rather than a rush” of demand at this stage.
“We had demand, but it wasn’t crazy. I think people are realistically saying with 80,000 seats on offer, they don’t have to run to the local shop to get them,” he said, “Plus it’s 10 days out, and it’s not a final.”
Unlike when tickets went on sale for Limerick's Munster Final clash against Tipperary, where demand for tickets in the 44,000 capacity LIT Gaelic Grounds caused the www.tickets.ie system to crash, Mr Ryan says it’s easier this time.
“I think tickets.ie handled it a bit better. Their systems were able to cope with it. We sold a huge amount of tickets between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Monday and there is still a trickle in for tickets. I think people will come in and get them,” he added.
Mr Ryan urged people to act early if they wanted to secure a family ticket for the big day, however.
Limerick’s approximately 1,300 season ticket holders are having their tickets allocated this Thursday. The option for season ticket holders to bring up to four friends or family members was also in place until the end of this Wednesday night. This facility is no longer available for this game.
Meanwhile, Irish Rail has confirmed it will lay on extra tains between Limerick and Dublin Heuston station.
Outbound, they will depart at 10.05am and 12.15pm, while there will be one extra service back from the capital at 9.10pm. The last scheduled service of the day leaves Heuston at 9pm.
Customers are being advised to book as soon as possible – either on www.irishrail.ie, or by phone on 01-8366222. Walk-up train tickets are unlikely to be available.