Dublin supporters will outnumber their hosts in Omagh this Saturday evening’s mouthwatering Super 8’s clash between between Jim Gavin and Mickey Harte’s sides.
The sold out signs have already been erected with no tickets left for general sale.
Last weekend’s matches may suffered from a lack of interest based on the attendances figures in Croke Park but that certainly can’t be said for this weeks trip to the Red Hand County.
Due to health and safety precautions Healy Park’s official capacity is 17,636, with 4,500 of those seats, 16 wheelchair places and 13,120 standing spaces on the terrace.
Dublin are one of the few counties that are fully subscribed to the GAA season ticket scheme and 2,500 will be accommodated on the standing terraces in Healy Park.
Add on top of that the ticket allocation distributed to the clubs in Dublin is believed to be in the region of 4,000 with approximately 1,000 Parnell Park season ticket holders to be issued with their tickets from that allocation.
Some tickets did go on general sale on Monday morning through the usual outlets and were snapped up very quickly and unless a portion of tickets were kept back for release later in the week, finding hens teeth will be easier for supporters than securing a ticket for the game.
Tyrone have 1,200 season ticket holders themselves, but support at games for Mickey Harte’s side has not been as high as previous seasons.
That was quite evident in the Ulster Championship quarter final also held in the Omagh venue with the visitors Monaghan easily outnumbering the Tyrone contingent at the game.
Among the long list of negative comments thrown at the Jim Gavin’s team and the the Dublin supporters is the notion that fans from the capital don’t travel.
It’s complete nonsense of course and Dublin supporters are well use to outnumbering ‘home’ fans at away fixtures throughout the League and early round of the Leinster Championship.
Some will point to the fact that ‘it’s only the league’ but once again this Saturday evening the famed sky blue traveling army will prove the naysayers wrong and descend on Omagh in their thousands.
It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is or what competition it is, Dublin supporters travel to what ever destination Gavin’s side are playing at and get right behind their team.
Once again though the fact that the Dublin supporters will outnumber the hosting counties fans throws back up the whole venue debate.
Besides the above mentioned GAA and Parnell Park season ticket holders and the ticket allocation to the Clubs, there are many thousands of other Dublin fans not affiliated with any of the schemes or clubs who regularly attended matches.
Are these fans to be forced to miss games because a select few moaners want Dublin to play more games away from Croke Park.
It’s extremely hard for those fans to secure an All Ireland Final tickets if Dublin make it that far, are they now to be left with just attending league games and the odd championship game in HQ.
As the old GAA slogan goes ‘Nothing Beats Being There,’ so facilitating as many fans as possible needs to be a priority and calls to host more games in grounds without the capacity to facilitate the large Dublin fans base seems ludicrous.
Plus have any of these people who are constantly going on about ‘fairness’ or ‘level playing fields’ as a reason to move Dublin out of Croke Park thought about the financial impact smaller gate receipts will have on every county, it’s doubtful.
But that’s a discussion for another day and on Saturday an armada of cars, vans, buses and trains will sail towards the Red Hand County and descend on Omagh for what will hopefully be one of the games of the Championship.