The temporary installing of seats on the Hill 16 terrace could allow up to 42,000 supporters attend games later in the year

Supporters look on from the Hill 16 terrace, the GAA might install temporary seats on the Hill 16 terrace to allow supporters attend games later in the summer.

It’s the most iconic terrace in Ireland but it could be temporarily transformed this year as the installing of seating on Hill 16 maybe needed to allow supporters attend fixtures.

If the government reduces the social distancing guidelines to one metre then GAA president John Horan beloved up to 42,000 supporters could funnel through the Croke Park turnstiles later in the year.

The Jones Road venue has an 82,300 capacity, but with the current social distancing guidelines due to Covid-19, at present filling the famous old stadium would be a non-runner.

If the government lifts regulations to allow events of over 5,000 attendants, then Horan is confident that Croke Park could comfortably accommodate 21,000 spectators.

And if the social distancing rule was reduced to one metre that could be doubled up to 42,000.

Either way that’s going to likely lead to a lottery for tickets and with it impossible to control social distancing on the Hill 16 terrace, the installation of temporary seating is being considered.

It would cause practicalities in terms of there’d be an element of lottery for tickets

“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. The operations team in Croke Park have mapped it out,” Horan told Na Fianna GAA TV.

“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 2020 GAA inter-county season is set to get underway on October 17th and might run into the early months of 2021 with the end of February seen as the latest date for its conclusion.