Donegal’s eagerly awaited Allianz National Football League tie with Monaghan at the beginning of next month will not be all-ticket.
This was confirmed last night by Donegal GAA secretary Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh who admitted that the idea of making it all-ticket was considered. The game is a repeat of last July’s Ulster final.
“It was mooted way back all right but we haven’t had any word in recent weeks. The last word we had on it was when Ronan Murphy was down from Croke Park about three weeks ago doing an inspection of the three grounds,” said Aodh Mairtin.
“He (Ronan Murphy) was clear at that stage that none of our home games would be all-ticket and we haven’t heard a word since and I would doubt if it will be at this stage.
“Under the last safety report O’Donnell Park has a capacity of 8,300 and it is felt that will be more than adequate to satisfy the anticipated attendance.
“We are currently putting our plans in place for a ‘first come, first served’, game and we are happy that O’Donnell Park will accommodate the crowd.
“Ultimately the final decision is up to the Central Competitions Control Committee in Croke Park. However, I feel if the decision was going to be made it would have been done at this stage and we would have been informed.”
The Donegal versus Monaghan game is a round three game in Division Two of the Allianz National League is on March 2nd.
Tickets for the game are already on sale on line and at dedicated outlets, as is the case for all games in the current Allianz League. Admission on the day is 15 euro. These tickets can purchased for a special offer price of €10 from tickets.ie or from SuperValu and Centra outlets in what is seen as move by the Association to move away from cash at the stiles.
The county secretary also confirmed that there will be no special provision for season ticket holders other than there will a specially dedicated turnstile.
“It will be the same for season ticket holders as it will be for everybody else, other than a special turnstile. It will be a case of who turns up first. There will be no dedicated seats either for the holders of season tickets or anybody else,” said the secretary.
O’Fearraigh said that the county board were still awaiting confirmation of the number of season tickets held by Donegal supporters. However, he was a little sceptical of the suggestion that Donegal had 1,500 season tickets.
“We won’t know until near the game when we will be furnished with the exact number. We had 700 season ticket holders last year and it is highly unlikely, given that we are in Division Two, that number will have increased now to 1,500.
With both Donegal and Monaghan showing good form in their opening two games and currently lying first and second respectively in the Division Two League table, the game is likely to have an increased interest.
Donegal top the table on full points from their big away wins over Laois and Galway. Monaghan have three points from their two games, a draw with Down in Newry and an impressive 12 point victory over Meath in Clones on Sunday last.
The fact that both teams are unbeaten and even at this early stage of the season are in the promotion mix means there is going to be a fair deal of interest in both counties.
The game could generate a good deal of neutral interest too. Derry are at home to Westmeath in Owenbeg but Tyrone are due to play Kerry away which may attract some enthusiasts from the Red Hand county. But even without neutral interest, a record attendance is expected in O’Donnell Park.