The chairman of the Donegal County Board admitted he was not made aware of the sudden release of tickets for this month’s clash between Donegal and Tyrone last Wednesday.
Sean Dunnion was travelling to Belfast for the launch of the Ulster championship when he got a ‘phonecall to say that tickets.ie - an online ticket sales website owned by the GAA - were selling tickets, as were SuperValu.
It has since been estimated that 1,000 tickets were sold out within half-an-hour of their release with the 1,500 total gone in less than two hours.
“It caught us totally unaware,” Dunnion said at Tuesday night’s meeting of county committee in Ballybofey. “We didn’t know at all tickets were going on sale online or at SuperValu. By the time I got to Belfast the tickets were sold out so I addressed the issue with Brian Mallon, the finance officer at the Ulster GAA Council.
“We spoke at length but he wouldn’t commit to me the breakdown of tickets. I mentioned a figure of 1,000 and was told I was in the right ballpark. He explained that both SuperValu and tickets.ie came from the one pool of tickets and we now understand that pool was roughly 1,500 tickets.”
Donegal received an allocation of 5,751 for their Ulster championship quarter-final against Tyrone in Ballybofey on May 26.
Of that total, Dunnion confirmed that 751 were held back, meaning the clubs of the county will receive 5,000, or 86.94 per cent of the tickets allocated to Donegal.
From those held back, Donegal’s senior players and backroom team will receive 120 stand tickets and the minors 70. The extended backroom team are down for 208, sponsors and elected representatives pick up 64, the county executive obtain 64, various committees and the newly reformed supporters’ club are to be allocated 85, coaches of development squads get 22, there are 80 tickets for county committee, two tickets per club for county committee delegates, 148 for contingency measures, while Club Tir Conaill receive 80.
There are 766 season ticket holders in Donegal, who are guaranteed a stand ticket, while there are over 1,200 in Tyrone. Therefore, there are only 470 stand tickets for Donegal’s clubs from the 941 that came into the county for MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey, which will have a capacity of 17,520 for the match.
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