GAA president John Horan says seats could be installed on Hill 16 and a lottery held for tickets at Croke Park, with the Association hoping to have up to 42,000 fans attend games later this year if Covid-19 social-distancing restrictions are eased.
GAA president John Horan says seats could be installed on Hill 16 and a lottery held for tickets at Croke Park with the Association hoping to have up to 42,000 fans attend games later this year if Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
The GAA’s HQ on Jones’ Road usually accommodates up to 82,300 spectators but Horan expects that to be reduced to 21,000 if two-metre social-distancing is maintained or 42,000 if the Government decide to lower the distance to one metre.
It could be difficult to enforce distancing if fans stood as usual on the famous Hill 16 terrace so temporary seating would likely be used there instead.
“We’ve already worked it out that if the Government allow larger crowds to gather, over the 5,000 that they currently have, we could probably put 21,000 into Croke Park safely,” Horan told Na Fianna GAA TV.
“The operations team in Croke Park have mapped it out.
“It would cause practicalities in terms of there’d be an element of lottery for tickets. Premium ticket holders would probably have to get a credit into the following year and just do a lottery on the tickets that are actually there available for games going forward.
“Until social distancing is scaled back, we just won’t be able to pack Croke Park, it is our intention to get it open and get it going once the inter-county games start. If it goes back to one metre, we’ll be able to double the attendance to 42,000.
“There’s an issue over the Hill whether we’d have to put seating in there because really controlling crowds on terraces is always going to be a nightmare going forward.”
The GAA said on Friday that its grounds would not reopen for non-contact training until 29 June.
Horan said that the Association would remain “flexible” regarding ever-changing Government guidelines ahead of contact training, which should return on 20 July.
The return to competition on 31 July will allow 10 or 11 weeks for club competition ahead of inter-county Championships from the middle of October, which Horan said “may spill over into early 2021.”
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