Poor Croke Park Turnout 'Reaction To Domination Of The Dubs'

Poor Croke Park Turnout 'Reaction To Domination Of The Dubs'

Just 33,848 populated the stands and Hill 16 at Croke Park on Sunday as Kerry and Tyrone played out their All-Ireland semi-final in an atmosphere more akin to a January league game than the last-four in the championship.

"We were talking about attendances last night in view of the All-Ireland semi-finals in the hurling that can't sell out when you have four brilliant teams going at it and you are guaranteed close matches," said Tomás Ó Sé on RTÉ Radio 1 following Sunday's match.

Mayo, if Dublin played anybody else in a semi-final on Saturday, I'd question if you'd have a full house. Mayo, the last four games they played, they sold out. Their fans are different to most county teams.

Kerry would traditionally not travel that much even though it was 50/50 today.

I think Super 8s has dominated. There's a lot of travelling involved all summer and that possibly has an effect. I'd say a lot of Kerry folk would be hoping beyond hope that they would have got to the final today and hold out for it.

Dublin's domination is probably having an effect. I think Kerry played Armagh in the semi-final in '82 when they were going for the five-in-a-row and I think there was 17,000 here.

You wouldn't expect a full house today but 33,000 is a shocking attendance. It has to be said.

The same Kerry people who didn't travel today will be looking for tickets to the final - don't come knocking at my door.

Ticket prices for this year's All-Ireland semi-finals increased by €5 to €50 for a stand ticket and by the same amount to €35 for the terrace. That is another possible factor in an accumulation of many which led to Sunday's disappointing turnout.

"I think it's a worrying number and it's a reflection of the fare that's going on on the pitch," said Armagh All-Ireland winner Oisín McConville who was also part of Radio 1's coverage.

"If anyone was here for Dublin vs Mayo, it had a completely different feel to it.


"If you were sitting in Tyrone or Kerry and were questioning, 'Will I go up or not?' and you see the Dubs' just absolute devastation. It was a game which failed to sparkle as well but there was something different about it, there was an intensity about it, there were hits - it had something.

"Today didn't have anything. There was no atmosphere outside the ground. There was nothing really when you got in here. This is a horrible place to play in when there aren't at least 50,000 people here.

"It's a reaction to the quality of fare and it's a reaction to the dominance of the Dubs. That's not going away."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

See Also: Sean Cavanagh Says Time Might Be Up For Mickey Harte

PJ Browne
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