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Crowds of 42,000 may yet attend in 2020

GAA president John Horan says that Croke Park may yet host crowds of up to 42,000 in 2020 — though much will depend on social distancing guidelines

GAA president John Horan

GAA president John Horan says that Croke Park may yet host crowds of up to 42,000 in 2020.

Question marks remain over attendances at club and inter-county games in the coming months, and much will depend on health advise as the government continues to phase out of lockdown.

County championships can begin from July 31, before the top level of the game gets underway from October 17.

The landscape of the country may change significantly in the space of four months, while there is likely to be a great deal learned from the experiences of staging club games.

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Horan, who was speaking on the Na Fianna Facebook page, discussed the crowd sizes being considered.

A big factor will be whether social distancing remains at two metres or drops to one metre, and the size of crowds allowed to gather by the government.

“We have already worked it out that if large crowds are to gather over 5,000 we probably could put 21,000 into Croke Park safely,” Horan says.

“The operations team in Croke Park have mapped it out. Obviously, that blue mesh that’s used in Croke Park would be used to block off seats.

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“It would cause impracticalities as it would cause an element of lottery for tickets and premium ticket holders would probably have to be accredited the following year.

“Until social distancing is scaled back, we won’t be able to pack Croke Park.

“It is our intention to get it open and going when we get the inter-county games going and if it goes back to one metre we would probably be able to double the attendance to 42,000.

“There’s an issue over the Hill and whether we would be able to get seating in there because really controlling crowds is always going to be a nightmare going forward.”

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