Sunday 17 December 2017

'We couldn't have done any more' - GAA Board


WEXFORD'S GAA County Board has denied that more stand tickets could have been sold to the general public for the recent Leinster senior football and hurling double-header at Wexford Park.

Stand and roadside terrace tickets were not available after the Wednesday of the week before the matches on Saturday, June 11. Many who had hoped to buy them settled for tickets for the uncovered seating at the other side of the pitch or for the terraces instead.

There was an overall official attendance of just under 14,000 people for the match, with 8,800 of those in the stand and the benches on the roadside terrace.

The rest of the attendance, some 5,200 people, was on the sparsely populated terraces at either of the ground, which have a combined attendance of 15,000 - made up 9,000 at the Clonard end and 6,000 at the town (Pineridge) end.

However, some on the terraces were surprised to see gaps in the stand when they took their places for the first match ( Wexford v Westmeath in the football clash).

A spokesperson for Wexford Park explained that the stand was fully sold out from the Tuesday evening before the match and that the gap in it during the first match was made up of seats for the football squad, their mentors and background team so they could enjoy the hurling match that followed their game. The spokesperson said that they were only selling terrace tickets from Wednesday on, but that a small number of Wexford fans did get their hands on stand tickets after this as there were returns from Westmeath and hurling opponents Kilkenny on Thursday and Friday, which were then sold through Wexford Park.

Stand tickets were €25, tickets for the roadside terrace were €20 and tickets for the terraces at either end were €15. The usual concessions applied everywhere, except the stand.

Wexford Park said while it was announced mid-week that the stand and roadside terrace had sold out, there was no such announcement in respect of the terraces behind the goals, where there was plenty of room. While people may have got the idea that only a limited number of tickets were left for anywhere in the Park, this was never the case.

County Chairman Ger Doyle has said that - even allowing for the Wexford football squad - more people could have potentially been accommodated in the stand and roadside terrace.

However, these both have continuous benches rather than numbered seats, making it difficult to gauge exactly how many fans they can take while still complying with strict safety regulations.

The attractive double header has also shown that while there will be demand for seats on big occasions in Wexford Park, it's unlikely that the venue - redeveloped in a major, multi-million euro project from 1997 to 2001 - will ever be filled to its 23,800 capacity.

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