Cork GAA clubs are to be offered the opportunity to purchase premium-level tickets in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at a discounted rate.
At Tuesday night’s remotely-held county board meeting, newly appointed commercial director Sinéad O’Keeffe made a presentation to delegates, outlining the special scheme.
While the four central sections of the South Stand at the Páirc will continue to be sold at €6,500 for a ten-year term, the other seven sections – ordinarily €5,000 – will be available to clubs for €4,000.
Each affiliation will have the opportunity to purchase two seats for the club itself or have a club member take up the option. A premium ticket gives access to all games at the stadium as well as all county championship matches in Cork. In addition, ticket holders have first refusal on tickets for concerts and events at Páirc Uí Chaoimh as well as championship matches involving Cork, up to an including All-Ireland senior finals. Next Thursday, October 14, prospective purchasers will have the opportunity to meet O’Keeffe at the stadium and view seats from 11am-4pm.
Otherwise, the last virtual full meeting – the November gathering will be held at Páirc Uí Chaoimh – was fairly uneventful. There will be one more remote meeting, on October 19, to discuss the motions for the upcoming Special Congress, while it was revealed that the annual convention will take place on Saturday, December 4.
Chairperson Marc Sheehan formally thanked Pat Ryan and Noel Furlong for their “tremendous stewardship” of the county U20 and minor hurling teams respectively after it had been announced that both would be stepping down.
Ryan guided Cork to the 2020 and 2021 All-Ireland U20 titles while Furlong was in charge as Cork ended a 20-year wait at minor level. Sheehan said that the appointments committee would work hard on filling the vacancies while he said that the process for a new senior football manager was ongoing but with no finalisation yet. He expected it to be concluded ahead of the November meeting.
County secretary Kevin O’Donovan echoed Sheehan’s comments and said that he was looking forward to the return of Ryan and Furlong – and those involved in what he termed “incredible backroom teams” to the inter-county sidelines in the future. “They’re just stepping off the pitch for a moment,” O’Donovan said, “I expect to see them back soon.”
Pat Horgan, the county vice-chairperson, reported in his capacity as chairperson of the competitions control committee (CCC) that close to 75 venues had been used so far for county championship games. As well as the byes afforded to Cork in the Munster club hurling championships as a result of the county reaching the All-Ireland final, the draws had resulted in byes for Cork in the senior and intermediate football, too. Horgan said that the championship programme was “on schedule, with little or no room for slippage.”
Kevin O’Donovan said that the fixture-makers were coming under pressure in terms of venue availability and pleaded with clubs to “hang in there for another two weeks. After the group stages ended, the number of teams involved with be halved.
“We can’t have games without pitches and we’re piling everything we can into Páirc Uí Rinn and Páirc Uí Chaoimh.”
He said that there were still two intermediate A games for this Saturday without venues but, during the course of the meeting, Kanturk offered their pitch for the Cloughduv v Meelin game. O’Donovan also pointed out that the last two weekends of October are set aside for county championship quarter-finals but, until it is known who is involved, no other certainty can be provided as of now. “We will be endeavouring to give dual clubs a break,” he said.
Cork’s Central Council delegate Tracey Kennedy confirmed that Donegal’s proposal regarding sleeve sponsorship had been accepted and counties are now free to engage in this regard, while the Hurling Development report will be circulated to counties in the near future.
Regarding the recent refusal of planning permission for works pertaining to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Sheehan said: “We have greeted that announcement with disappointment and regret. “At this point, we are now reviewing that decision, the executive and the stadium committee with our planning advisors.
“We will come to a way forward in the not-too-distant future.”