Cork GAA clubs ready for action with greater fan numbers allowed

It's all-systems-go for ticket-only games across the four grades from premier senior to intermediate A
Cork GAA clubs ready for action with greater fan numbers allowed

ALL games in the Bon Secours county football championships, which begin with the first group matches at the weekend, will be ticket-only for supporters.

There will be no cash sales and no tickets to purchase at venues around the city and county.

The county board appreciates this may present a challenge for elderly supporters and they urge clubs to assist them in buying and printing of tickets.

There will be 250 spectator tickets for participating clubs to purchase and they had until yesterday to avail of the opportunity. Tickets will then go on public sale.

“We would advise clubs to perhaps allow their members to use the public sales option as there are adult/concession and juvenile tickets available,” the board said in a press release.

Tickets are €8 for senior and intermediate games and €5 for junior B and C matches.

Clubs will also receive the standard complimentary 40 match-day tickets for players and management.

Season ticket holders, including Premium Seat holders, county board delegates and All-Ireland senior medal holders will be dealt with directly by the Pairc Ui Chaoimh office.

“We are currently considering the best manner in which to deal with such complimentary tickets, be it using a pass or scanned ticket,” the release added.

The only streaming of games will be conducted by the Irish Examiner under the media partnership with the board.

“Further permission for the streaming of games will not be granted due to the restrictions on attendances now lifting and the desire all round for the return of spectators.” 

The 2021 championship starts on Friday evening with the city derby of St Michael’s and Bishopstown in the senior A grade at Pairc Ui Rinn at 7.30pm.

And the weekend’s action, which features 26 games across all four grades in football, continues on Saturday and concludes with the intermediate A ties, all starting at 4pm on Sunday.

Chairman Marc Sheehan was thrilled with the staging of the 2020 premier senior final between Nemo Rangers and Castlehaven at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday.

“It helped complete last season’s programme of games and that was a major milestone in its own right during these very challenging times,” he told the Echo.

The game attracted a crowd of just under 2,500, a five-fold increase on the earlier ceiling of 500.

“First, it was great to play a county final in bright sunshine and it was also great to see supporters back.

“We were told formally about the increase at lunchtime Friday, but we had been working away in the background because we believed we could safely organise a bigger attendance.

“We had 6,100 for the test games in the Munster hurling championship and the All-Ireland qualifier here at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

“The day went very well and there was great co-operation from the patrons who attended and both clubs, too.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere, which was something that had been missing.

“We used the north stand, all the time making people aware of the current health and safety guidelines.

“I think everyone has been missing going to games hugely and there is an awareness across society about the importance of the games.

“We’re in a good spell of weather at the moment and this also helps.

“That’s the 2020 campaign done and dusted and we roll over immediately to the start of another championship this weekend.

“And it’s going to be a rapid fire succession of games every weekend until the finals in November with just one break in between.

“It’s going to be a challenging programme for players and clubs, similar to last year.

“Our intended date to start would have been two earlier but the success of our teams, particularly the senior hurlers in reaching the All-Ireland final, gave us a nice complaint.

“We’re now looking forward to a lot of competitive games, which will have to continue even if there is Covid or close contacts in some clubs.

“The system is still in its infancy, infancy plus, I suppose you could call it at this stage, but it’s settling down well.

“I believe the gradings are good and the competition between teams is very sharp,” Sheehan concluded.

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