Connacht final confirmed for Croke Park

Connacht Council Secretary John Prenty, in an interview on the live stream for the Connacht U20 semi-final, has just confirmed that the venue for this year’s provincial final is being shifted to Croke Park.

John Prenty stated that this decision was confirmed by the Connacht Council inside the past hour and it will enable an attendance of 18,000 for the Nestor Cup decider. Throw-in time remains at 1.30pm on Sunday week for the game.

173 thoughts on “Connacht final confirmed for Croke Park

  1. great news .we will defnitely beat galway in croke park and a lot more supporters can go to it.

  2. Bit conflicted. Feel we are better on the wider pitch in Croker but is this decision being made without us?
    Also, our game in Croker is very dependent on Cillian triggering a press. Can’t be done all day as the area is too large.
    We’ll see his loss there more than in castlebar.

    Half delighted and half disgusted. Hopefully it’s not our only game there this year!

  3. Ridiculous cash grabbing decision, a Connacht final should be in Connacht, won’t be going, was looking forward to going to Mchale park

  4. Will be giving that one a miss. It’s a pity, was really looking forward to the game, and god knows there have been thousands of miles travelled over the years following this team.

    But there comes a point when enough is enough with the GAA, and there is very little that would convince me to travel to Croke Park for a Connacht Final in the times we’re in. Will be sticking to Plan A and spending my money in Castlebar that day instead.

  5. Croke Park should suit our game more than Galways, delighted with that and if it means more fans can get in to see it then I’m all for it

  6. Delighted ….was at the Leitrim game on Sunday and was great to be back …..but didn’t think I’d be able to get a ticket for Connacht Final. Should suit Mayo’s game as well.

  7. Makes sense to allow 18,000 see it than the 3,500 in Castlebar. People crying out for live football.

  8. Its all about the money!! I think its madness dragging Mayo fans across the country, its a risk in a pandemic moving 18,000 people with delta variant rampant. Trains can only run on reduced capacity for anyone attending. What about theb loss to the businesses in Castlebar? No mention of losing ‘home’ advantage – are Msyo GAA happy with that! Are the Munster and Ulster Finals being moved to Croker? McHALE PARK OR NOWHERE is my motto!

  9. GAA at its cash grapping best. in a H&S context they a moving a western cohort of people to the eastern area of the country. BOYCOTT has its origins in Mayo. Boycott this farce.

  10. Hold in a second.
    Isn’t having 5-7k Peeps from Galway and Mayo in Castlebar less of a Covid risk than 18k going to Croker

  11. Have to agree with Goagain and others- my initial reaction was Great ! But thinking about it since – all 4 provincial finals should be played in Croke Park or none at all. Of course GAA know they will get big Mayo crowd – with little regard for pandemic/ travel risks and loss of precious business to Castlebar merchants!
    Let’s have equality of provinces or call the bluff of GAA and boycott it – MCHALE OR NOWHERE!

  12. This is a good decision. Better pitch surface suits us. Bigger pitch suits us. This is knock out championship – take whatever advantages are going with open arms. Mayo fans should fight for tickets and bring the support the team deserves. We’ll beat Galway. Having your arse beaten by every decent div 1 team will not have stood to them. Despite what some think.

  13. I can’t see Croke Park or the GAA making too much money on this to be fair – even if all 18k tickets were full price. I remember hearing that they need at least an attendance of 30k to break even there. But I could be wrong!

  14. Really disappointed with that. HALF ONE throw in . In Dublin. Playing Galway. Seriously!!!

  15. We all love heading to Croker -but I don’t agree with this at all. This is all to do with money. Will they sell all them tickets – I am doubtful. Big expense on families too. What about covid numbers rising? I want it in McHale Park!!

  16. In fairness Mayolass, I don’t think this “all to do with the money” argument stacks up. It enables them to have a crowd of 18,000 at it as opposed to 3,750 if it were to be played at MacHale Park.

  17. The lunatics have taken over the asylum alright and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    The sooner the whole thing comes crashing down, the better.

    This is a huge step towards the end game of the whole rotten thing.

  18. In fairness WJ it is bringing two Connacht teams and sets of supporters across to the other side of the country at a time we are all being told to limit our journeys.
    Leaving that aside the 130pm throw in basically means that most supporters also now have to try and find accomadation for the night before as well as trains are at 50% capacity.
    It stinks

  19. Castlebar or Nowhere!.. Are we Mayo & Galway, two proud West of Ireland Connacht team’s or are we a commodity?

  20. This notion that it’s somehow safer having about 25% of Croke Park capisity in comparison to 10% of Mchale Park capisity.. that just dosent just add up. Concidering the risks of however many thousands traveling from Mayo and Galway, .. , isint tthe risk of contracting and spreading the virus, much greater concidering that people from both Galway and Mayo would be mixing for a whole day instead of a few hours?..It’s not likely that the fans will travel one to a car like the player have had to do… it’s beyond nonsense. .. Spend the full Sunday gone to Dublin, where we won’t be able to mingle and mix … What rubbish.

  21. Our recent record against Galway in MacHale park would suggest this is a good move for us. This definetly changes the dynamic of this fixture. Im all for it tbh, ill happily travel up. It’ll be class to be back in Croker for a game.

    Well done U-20’s, great win. Thought we were gunna throw it away with so many wides in extra time! Great revengs for last year too. Penalties an awful way to decide a game.

    Willie Joe, a poll would be interesting on whether us fans would prefer Croker or MacHale, I know you’ve enough for doing, but it would be interesting to see the results.

  22. Personally I am looking forward to this game in CP, if we assume that we will take up more tickets then 10,000 mayo supporters may get in rather than say 2,200 in Castlebar, that can only benefit us, I think that JH would want more experience in CP for this young team.

    The downside is more travel, and associated cost but on the basis that I have not been at a game since the league last year, it will be worth it. We may not get another game, McHale Park has not always been a happy hunting ground, so can do no harm from a sporting perspective.

  23. If people don’t want to go I can understand there reasons . But Mayo stand a better chance of winning this game in Croke Park and isn’t that what we want. It will give lads game time and experience on that surface should we make it as far as playing Dublin. For one year can we not put the team first and put aside our own disappointment for the teams greater good!

  24. You can’t view the move to play the match at Croke Park as anything other than a massive advantage for us. It’s our home from home, a place we love playing in and a playing surface that suits us so well, especially now with such pace in the team. Plus it gives us – if we win – a game there before tackling the Dubs. That’s invaluable for our younger players. We’ll also outnumber Galway 4:1 at least supporter-wise.

    Oh and did I mention that it’s a 20-minute stroll from where I live up here?

  25. Well said toe to hand!!!!

    This is great for the young players! The likes of Eogahan Mac, Mullin, Tommy and even R O’D are made for summer ball in Croker.

  26. People’s concern regarding travel expenses and covid are understandable, but playing in Croke park is a massive advantage to Mayo. Outstanding record there other than the Dublin games and there’s a real chance that the Galway bus will get lost on the way up.

  27. A lot of complaining i see and i live in dublin so obviously travel doesnt come into it for me but can i just say think about it folks, 3500 in mchale park for a cf , most of us wouldnt of got a ticket so what youre moaning about doesnt really stack up.

    i wonder will tickets be hard to get ? I know relatives of mine have said croke park hotel is already booked out .

  28. There’s precedence aswell 04-06 ulster finals were played up there when both Tyrone and Armagh were going well.

    Simply do not see the rationale in people saying it’s better in Mchale. so better for a max of only 2k Mayo people to see it in person as Galway would have to get sustantial cut of tickets also.

    As said by WJ bettter chance of winning there and better prep if we get through also

  29. Willie Joe. I totally agree with you. This is definitely to Mayos advantage . The COVID cert will come in handy now!! Congrats to Maurice and his team on great win tonight

  30. In relation to people saying the Gaa are trying to make more money off playing the Connacht final in Croke Park; I was told that it took 30k attendance for the Gaa a make a bob off a game in Croker.

    Great result for the U20-s tonight in Tuam. At the Euros on Sunday the English made a grave mistake putting a 19-year old on a penalty……. our U-20 management team would never make a mistake like ….errrr

  31. I think it totally takes the the tradition and spice out if it, bringing it to Croke Park.

    It should be on our patch played among our Tribe, regardless of the permitted numbers.

    The Galway fans that were coming, and their team should be getting a Mayo welcome on to our pitch and not some day long half arsed gallop across the width of the country.

  32. Pleased to hear the game is in Croke Park. It gives more people the chance to see it live. People are crying out for live football and for competitive matches. Comments made in the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the Leitrim match show that.

    Would a full crowd in MacHale Park (with reduced numbers given Covid restrictions) result in a boost to local businesses? Maybe it would create a match-day atmosphere around the town.

    And it ensures a day out in Croke Park for two teams, one of whom will see their Championship season end through knockout.

    It makes the whole thing more exciting, in my view.

  33. I don’t understand the moaning.
    It’s a choice between about 2k Mayo fans in McHale Park versus about 10-12 k in Croker.
    There’s no way this can be seen as anything other than a positive.From a football point of view it also works for us,the only downside is having to travel,that’s a price I’m happy to pay for the obvious advantages it brings us.

  34. Leaving aside your own location WJ – and I’d begrudge no better man – you said yourself 18,000 as opposed to 3,750 – that to me adds up to a lot more dosh for central moneybags – so it is about money. Very unfair on Mayo supporters – many of whom are waiting for second jab or no jab at all! It’s more of a health risk, it’s unfair on Mayo people and, yes, it is about Money – it has to be said,
    Well done Maurice and Under-20s team and Best of Luck Senior lads on Sunday week – wherever played.

  35. I agree WJ ,Croke Park is the way to go. Now I stand a good chance of getting a ticket as well and , I am fed up watching the television. It might be our last chance to play there this year ,but it gives us a better chance of winning than McHale Park. The big plus is that our young lads gets more exposure to the Croke Park environment. Cannot give them enough days out there, and it is what all young players dream of.

  36. I ,for one am not too bothered where we play them as long as we beat them and I do think the open space will suit us more with our speedsters.
    Well done to the u-20s ,never dropped the heads. Do we know where & when that connaught final is yet?

  37. A few days from now there would be a crowd on this blog here complaining about not being able to get a ticket for McHale Park, and I might have been one of them. Felling more confident about the final right now.

  38. This all seems a bit ridiculous. The whole point of splitting the league divisions was to reduce the distance required to travel but now we’re sending two adjacent Connacht teams with supporters in tow all the way across to Dublin? Would 8000-10000 not have sufficed in Castlebar?

    But then again we have form for beating Galway outside of Connacht so as long as we come out with the win…

  39. Yet again the “Grab All Association” has shown it’s true colours , and once again it’s Mayo fans being sold down the river , just like the Limerick replay in 2014 .

    Fitzgerald Stadium’s current capacity is 2500 , 1200 less than McHale park and the scheduled 4pm kick off for the Kerry v Cork game would have given more time for fans to get there so why wasn’t that game moved.

    There again in the present times who in their right mind would think that moving any set of fans across the country was a good idea.

  40. Ah jasus lads and lassies we’ve spent months on end locked up and unable to travel beyond 5km. Now people are complaining about having to go to Dublin to watch Mayo play. I’d have given anything last March to do just that.
    Hon Mayo!

  41. I have to agree with Anne Marie and others above, this is a ridiculous decision in the times we live in. Such a kick in the teeth to Castlebar and MacHale Park.
    Castlebar or Nowhere!

    Great result for Maurice Sheridan’s lads this evening, always good to get a win in Tuam.

  42. As a person who hasn’t seen Mayo play live since the Kerry league game last year – I will gladly go to Croke Park if I get a ticket. I would have little or no chance of getting a family ticket for Castlebar. A crowd of 3,500 attending the game in Castlebar would do little for the local economy. At least now people have a choice of going to the game or watching the game on tv. With a crowd limit of 3,500 in Castlebar most people had no choice but to watch it in tv.

  43. It doesn’t make any sense.
    600 cases yesterday.
    Covid currently in the Mayo squad
    Players not able to travel by bus.
    Venues and groups based on distance in the National League
    Trains, buses, hotels under pressure for space
    I presume buses are a non runner for clubs/groups
    The only reason seems to be to get more people into a stadium…in a city….on the opposite side of the country

  44. Great decision. By the way Croke Park needs 35k to break even so it’s not about money. 18,000 fans in as opposed to 3,500 in MacHale Park.

    Mayo play better there and whoever wins will be glad to have had a game there before facing the dubs.

    We have been locked up for 18 months. People are mad to get on the road.

  45. Mayo and Leitrim fans both received 600 each for last weeks game with the rest going on general sale , so i would imagine it would be the same 35% between both teams with the rest going on general release

  46. WJ, I respect ur opinion and this is ur blog, but this is nothing to do with numbers at a match this is all about euros. In the world we are living in west to east does not make sense.

  47. Congratulations to the U-20s tonight. It was important to beat Galway and see another young crop progress nicely towards senior level – the best of luck in the Connacht final. Whilst the traditionalist inside me is sorry to see the Connacht final played outside Connacht, the pragmatic part of me can see why it makes sense – more bums on seats equals more money. The irony is that it matters little anymore where the game is played as, following on from our hammering of Leitrim last Sunday, it could well be one of the last connacht finals. Sending the Connacht final to croker only confirms the diminished importance of provincial championships.

  48. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if we mounted a campaign to keep the match in Castlebar and succeeded. Then we went and lost the match. And most the people who resisted the decision could not get a ticket to see it.
    And I am not saying we are going to win in Croker but we might have a better chance and at least many many more people can go if they so want to.
    I don’t think Galway supporters are as annoyed as ourselves.

  49. Its the very same story as going to Limerick. Thee Gaa takes us as cash cows here in Mayo. Mayo supporters are whinging that its great to be going to Croke Park. I know of supporters who thinks its fabolous going to Croker but the vary same supporters would not go to McHale Park last Sunday. And those are the pricks who will shove out their chests the day after in Croke Park and boast how great they are. Willie Joe its great for the Mayos in Dublin but what about the supporters in Blaksod and Connemmara and be there at 1.30PM. Again John Prenty and his bunch dont give 2 fucks for Mayo or Galway supporters. I was in McHale Park last Sunday but I defenitly wont be in Croke Park next day. And IF we win Mayo has to go to Croke Park again in a few weeks after. We definatly are cash cows for Croke Park

  50. Galway will have more support than people think! Am I sensing an air of over-confidence?

    No Cillian. Diarmuid not back to fitness. Lee a doubt. Who knows how itll go but I’m definitely approaching this in a cautious mood.

  51. In fairness, 3,000 people in Castlebar makes a better atmosphere than 18,000 in croker.

    But I’m not complaining short trip on the number 13 from where I am.

  52. ahh mayonaze i understand youre over there in galway but thats stretching it , i dont think galway football support have had decent numbers for connacht game since cf 99 and even then we had as many , the result was goooood that day though .

    What ive seen of galway this year would not scare me at all but im sure they will raise the bar for cf winner takes all. Im not sure they will cope with our runners from deep in croke park . time will tell and a lot will boil down to whos available for us.

  53. @mayonaze spot on. Galway are well up for this one. Even more so after tonight. CP give them a chance to run at us… They will travel too

  54. @TR_Mayo.

    Why would Galway fans be more annoyed ?

    Mayo players have gone from not having to make a journey to now making a longer journey than Galway have to make.

    And forget about the embarrassment of losing at home.

    If we are to lose, would you prefer to have to face the journey back down from Dublin or a journey from Castlebar if you were at the game.

  55. I’m easy either way…Croker or McHale park. I know you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But if ppl feel strongly about it then let that guide your decision. There are pros and cons to every decision. All I really want is to see Mayo winning. Positive attitude, positive energy, positive result.
    Fair play to the young fellas tonight. Very tetchy game but they held the nerve and I’m delighted for them. It’s a horrible way to decide a game but, in present circumstances, it seems justified.
    Wherever we play I simply want to see us winning. That’s the same for any age category, men or women… Mayo always. It’s beginning to feel like a hopeful summer. Bring on the next game and hope we have the best team possible. Maigheo abú

  56. ahh sure time will tell , galway outnumber Mayo in croke park / ill give any man good odds. Hate been cocky in my old age but im very confident we will win. just cant see how they will cope with paddy , eoghan and oisin charging at them if all fit , roscommon scored at ease when they went at them, kerry blitzed them and they stood off monaghan when in a commanding position to stay in div one.

    Our disadvantage is we havent really been troubled in 2021 yet which might leave us a bit cold going in to this. but its not that long ago we played in an all ireland final either.

  57. @Revellino
    I’ll be there no matter where it’s played ( so long as I get my ticket)
    I have travelled down that road may times before after losing and it could happen next week too.
    But I wouldnt go shooting myself in the foot.
    I feel we have a better chance up there. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages IMO. There will be bigger numbers. The younger lads will get a chance to experience playing there which if we won could stand to them big time for future matches.

  58. yew_tree – I’ve seen that mentioned numerous times but it’s not true that 35k is needed in croke park to break even. Otherwise they’d be losing money on almost every game during the year! Also, ticket prices vary from game to game so how could there be a set attendance to break even?

  59. I’m totally fine with this. Great to be able to get on the road to a big match. Look how far we’ve come regarding Covid.

    Its only been 7 months since we played an All Ireland there so we can’t really have any complaints. I’m surprised so many people are unhappy with this. What about the woeful narrow McHale park pitch?! Dangerous to all who set foot on its turf?! Come on folks, this is a great decision.

    Croker of course doesn’t guarantee us a win, far from it, but we do play well there. I’d imagine the likes of T. Conroy and Eoghan will be chomping at the bit given they were quiet in the All Ireland final. I think team and management generally will welcome this.

    I think Galway will also welcome it. Lord knows they need the Croker experience. I just hope it isn’t the day it all comes right for them there. Could happen, but they’d need to show some form that we haven’t yet seen. An obvious worry for us is their Div 1 battles this year…

    It is set up to be a cracker. It should be a real occasion to savour and get excited about. If we lose, we lose. I’d rather lose in Croker. But as WJ says, the winner will be well set up for the semi final.

  60. Croke Park is not an advantage to Mayo, any more than it’s an Advantage to Galway.. the Truth, and anyone can research this on several objective evidence based platforms.. The truth is that, Home advantage is measurable and it an advantage.. the fact that Mayo lost a number of Match’s in Mchale Park is down to, several factors, playing badly, conceding soft Goals, getting men sent off do this anywhere else and we will also lose more than we would win.. We have won our last 3 game’s in Mchale Park and lost, the last 3 of the last 4 Croke Park.. Is there any other ground that Mayo have lost so many huge game’s by a single point… it’s an Urban Myth, prepetuated the the Myth makers… When the GAA coffers were affected, they packed us off to Limrick, when it suits their agenda they want us to play in Croke Park.. What’s the scientific criteria, governing a much bigger percentage of Croke Park being occupied, in comparison to Mchale Park?.. The Provincial boards are fighting for their very existence, and really only one Provincial Championship deserves to exist at all the Ulster Championship.. The others, Connacht included are an embarrassing failure their Provincial Championship becoming more and more meaningless as time goes on.. Roscommon is a County we associate with Sheep, .. But when Roscommon put their foot down and said, it’s the Hyde or Nowhere, the Hyde it was..

  61. Sean Moran reporting in Irish Times that attendance could be greater than 18,000.
    Crocker May suit us, but what about our COVID situation? That subs bench was thin on Sunday, and by a process of elimination, we can identify those affected. If that’s repeated, we’re in trouble.

  62. Ah come off it Leantimes, we have a great record in Croke Park over the past
    10 years. This isn’t by chance, it’s a much bigger, faster pitch which suits our style of play and speed. We stand a better chance of performing to our optimum on the open expanses of Croke Park than our own small pitch in castlebar.
    Galway on the other hand went from 2001-2018 without winning a match there I’m sure.

  63. Can’t get over the amount of people bitching about the switch to Croker. How much did we save last year not being able to go to games. We should be chomping at the bit for a day out in the big house.

  64. Thrilled with the thought of travelling to Dublin again to see our young
    mobile team zoom around the wide open spaces and perfect surface of Croker.Even crossing the Shannon on the way up excites me, the weather usually brightens up and the sun shines.Sick of McHale Park wet seats rain and misery.Getting a ticket could be a problem but sure that’s part the excitement too

  65. People are never happy with something new, change isn’t always bad.
    Ye should be glad to get to a big game in Croker.
    It seems so long ago since the semi final in 2019.
    The ulster final was played in Croker before.
    How do I get a ticket ?, handy venue for me.

  66. Jaysus I’m confused.

    For the past year I’m reading comments about how leaky our defense is and how our defense gets cut wide open time after time

    Now I’m reading comments about how well Croke Park will suit us.

    Well if we can get cut wide open on a smaller pitch, what’s going to happen our defense on a wider pitch.

    Galway must be loving this move to Croke Park, absolutely loving it.

    This will have as much feel of a Connacht final about it as a vegetarian full Irish breakfast.

  67. Just to clear this one up as it comes up so often, the breakeven figure for Croke Park according to Peter McKenna is as follows:

    ‘It costs between €40,000 and €120,000 to open the stadium and we often open it at a loss. The break-even figure? For the smallest crowd, it would be €30,000 so 10,000 people paying €3 each, or €5,000 paying €6 each would do it.”

  68. @Our time has come, our record in Croke Park reflects our performance in Croke Park… And we lost despite some of our greatest ever performances…I was at all our winning and losing games for well over the last decade in both Mchale Park and Croke Park.. if we perform we tend to win.. Why would Galway agree to play in Croke Park if it was an advantage to Mayo?, Don’t you think Galway would insist on Mchale Park if it disadvantaged Mayo.. But more likely has something to do with the Mayo losing home advantage…

  69. Our first objective should be to not concede a goal after 13 seconds. Massive game for our midfield. Just massive.

  70. When I first heard this news tonight, my initial reaction was “ah FFS!!!”. But the more I think about it my thoughts echo exactly what Willie Joe has said. It’s a pitch that suits our style of play, plus it’s a game in Croker for both teams before playing the Dubs in the AI semi final. I’d say both Horan and Padraig Joyce were delighted to be offered this opportunity.

  71. Ann Marie,
    You misunderstand the situation re needing c. 30,000 in Croke Park for it to break even. Croke Park Ltd, if that is the correct name, is the subsidiary of the GAA which runs Croke Park, needs 30,000 to break even on its share of the gate money. There are lots of games and events held in Croke Park every year which do not achieve that magic break even figure. But the GAA consider them more important that the money. Long may they do so.

    On the general issue of the Connacht final venue the fact that a much higher number of supporters can attend is more important than the nonsense issues thrown up here. Regards Covid, don’t forget that pubs, etc will be wide open by then if you have your Vacc. cert, which most of us should have. And if you are afraid of Covid would you be going regardless of venue? I presume the Vacc. Certs will have serial numbers. If so quoting a serial number should be prerequisite to getting a ticket, one ticket per serial no.

  72. Sean Burke I’d agree with you on that. I feel confident about this game even without Cillian. If we can just shore up at the back I think we’ll win this, though I expect to have multiple heart attacks along the way.

    As for those above saying we should be mad to get on the road after a year out, it’s worth remembering that the last year has been a pretty rough one finacially for quite a few people. It’s of course great to have the opportunity to get to games in person, but it’s not really unreasonable to feel a bit hard done by if a day trip or an overnight to Dublin is simply out of reach at this time. I know I can’t justify it right now and judging from the conversations I’ve had tonight I’m not alone. Being locked up for 18 months has made me far less keen to take expensive unnecessary journeys, not more. But lookit, like others I hadn’t really expected to get to the game anyway if it was going to be on Castlebar, so I won’t be losing much sleep over it!

    I do think the game in Croker will suit the lads. And the Mayo support will far outnumber Galway – you can chalk that one down! Finally, to whoever above said we “should be glad to get to a big game in Croker” – where have you been for the last decade?! 😀

  73. Mayo may be cold going into the Connacht Final? Maybe, but it’s a while since that was a problem, Ruislip 2011 to be precise. They did not look cold against Sligo or Leitrim when ten or more years ago they might well have been. Remember v Leitrim in 2006 when we were lucky to scrape through by a point. The same team who beat Dublin in a thriller. Granted Dublin then were not comparable to Dublin of today but what a thriller of a match it was. No sign of coldness.

  74. Cheers AndyD, was trying to give benefit of the doubt to the Connacht Council on this. As I’m sure you can see from the above comments I wasn’t alone in misunderstanding. Will be referring back to this thread in future for this comment and for Joe’s clarifications which are both good to know.

    But there’s nothing “nonsense” about many of the comments raised above – they are valid points of view, much like your own.

  75. Not sure where Mr Prenty got his only 3,500 allowed for MacHale Park from. Jack chambers TD said crowds would increase for the end of this month and to 7,000 would be at the provincial finals.

  76. @Mayomagic, Mr Prenty should answer that very question and clarify exactly as to what he had said would be the capicity of Mchale Park? He should know…Saying something dosent make it so. . Anymore than a another paid professional of the GAA saying that there would be bloodshed in the streets of Newbridge, if Newbridge or Nowhere went ahead, and Croke Park wouldn’t benifit financially as much as they would have liked by the Mayo Golden Geese laying more Golden Eggs than anyone else, to pay some very handsome salaries in the GAA, and then when it suits the suits in Croke Park, they will again tell us where to go… Not like they tell Dublin, this is what they tell Dublin, ..Don’t play away, Play in YOUR Croke Park home.. Mayo can pay for your stadium… Sure we gave them a big loan… Their fans have paid us back, but they might have more in the sack.. … Credit Cards and Credit Union their children’s money from their first communion..
    Subsidising the Dubs, and coaches for their Clubs,.. Sure it’s only 10K that Mayo clubs must pay… To their County Board to play.

  77. Sure half of Mayo lives in Dublin, this is nearly more of a home match than Castlebar. I heard the GAA have even given us a spare set of keys we are there so often.

  78. Ask the players from both teams where they would like to play, I’d be fairly certain it’s Croke Park! Why? It’s the best pitch in the country to show what you can do and express yourself. I’ll never get to experience running out onto Croker for match day but I’d say the buzz is unreal. Imagine your Enda Hession, named at corner back to start your 1st Connacht final and it’s an experience he won’t forget. Same for the rest of the team who are playing there 151 game for Mayo like Aidan will be etc.. I’m glad the match is there, it’s means more people can go if they wish Vs McHale park. Mayo now play an athletic based running game like Dublin do, assuming we win and they win Leinster the prep there will be worthwhile. I can’t wait, Luas to O’Connell Street, walk across Parnell st, up Mountjoy sq, turn right and then see the outline of the Canal end and the Hogan stand, yesssssssssssss.

  79. It’s all about choice, players, management, officials, sponsor’s prefer croke park to McHale pk, now it’s supporters choice to go or not, it’s a 50/50 game what’s not to like, I won’t be traveling though better viewing on TV

  80. I wont be going to Croke Park, and ive missed very few Croke Park games over the years. For me whether in Croke Park or Castlebar, with restrictions bubbles, small crowd etc I couldnt enjoy it like normal times, the things that make the day out enjoyable wont be there, so the couch for now a more enjoyable experience for me.

    Thats just my opinion so after that Im glad were playing Galway in Croke Park from the players point of view. Gone from Galway slight favourites to back in our favour. Galway will have to adjust game plan for bigger pitch, croke park allows even more implement our game plan.

    I would say the GAA not using this to make money, its a tester for bigger games later in the year.

  81. Deelrover nothing beats being there and most supporters had more than enough watching matches on TV over the last year and a half.

    The choice of venue is great news for Mayo as this match now becomes 60/40 in favour of Mayo.

  82. Be very interesting to see who actually proposed the moving off the match especially as Mr Prenty is trying to play down the numbers who could actually attend 3700 against the 7000 that was already in the news.

  83. On a purely footballing point of view moving to Croke Park is advantage Mayo, and I do understand the reasoning about getting as many people in as possible. However I think the Connacht Council need to clarify a few things with Mayo and Galway, will they be picking up the expenses incurred by both teams travelling to Dublin (overnight stay maybe required because of early throw in) or will Mayo and Galway have to cover these additional costs. Will Mayogaa still receive their fee due for the use of McHale park for a championship game? In a time when most county councils are hurting financially, Mayo have stated publicly that they are in a difficult position, then additional cost should not be put on any Council at this time.

  84. Does anyone nó which platform, Ticketmaster or tickets. Ie will they be sold and also when?
    Thanks

  85. Delighted this has been switched to Croker and I am loving the Mayo confidence within this post, we will see ye on the 25th.

  86. I’m guessing no news on sale,
    On a positive note, I agree with posters who say this swings game in are favour big time, we can winge about the reason all we want after

  87. I can absolutely understand many of the comments about travelling from Mayo to Dublin and it not making sense especially in the current climate. However I don’t think this is a money making exercise at all for the GAA, it’s a trial for trying to get some form of normality pack and will also be a good test for what an all Ireland semi-final attendance would be like. For once I will give the benefit of the doubt to the powers that be and the bigger attendance will aid Mayo more than Galway.

    For those that won’t or indeed can’t travel I would full respect that decision but from a purely footballing perspective and for the betterment of our team, I think having the game in Croker is massive advantage. It is a no brainer if we want to improve our All Ireland chances. For whoever comes out on top, be it Mayo or our rivals Galway, an extra game in Croke Park ahead of a likely showdown with the Dubs can only help what we know will be a daunting task anyway.

    Also our lads are in great shape and the wide spaces will certainly suit our players. Durcan, Mullin, McLaughlin, Ruane, O’Donoghue, Conroy, are all suited to a big fast pitch. Over the last decade we have an excellent record in Croker too and should have a bit more experience than Galway and I think having the game in Croke Park gives us a slight edge. I for one can’t wait so bring it on!

  88. I’m a bit torn on this one. While its great that more people can get to the game and even better for those who live in the East it is definitely not fair to fans in the west. Forgetting about the extra cost, there are still plenty of people nervous about travelling and there added logistical difficulties in bringing families given the rules around dining etc. I’m also not sure its the big advantage to Mayo people think it is.

    Anyone whose been at a half empty Croke Park in their lives will know that there will be zero atmosphere with 18,000 people in an 82,000 seater stadium.

  89. My guess is that tickets will go the clubs first and any that are returned will go general sale.

  90. @Galway Wonder; you didnt read my post so!

    I definitely think people are underestimating this Galway team. Perhaps less familiar with the newer players, Kelly’s, Tierney, Cooke. Loads here are rightly saying that Croke Park suits plenty of our players but it’ll suit heaps of Galway players too!! I think Galway will get a good number out to support their team, more than people think. I never said or suggested they’d outnumber us. Not sure that’s ever happened regardless of venue over the past 30 years..once in a blue moon perhaps.

    Croke Park in recent years hasnt been AOS favourite pitch either. Perhaps it may do if he is deployed closer to goal. And Aido is even more important for Mayo in Cillian’s absence.

    Overall, we’ll need a huge game and a couple of moments to go our way to win this one, that’s just my gut feeling.

  91. Fair point Niall, I live in Midlands so suits me. If it goes to clubs then I could struggle to get one, I’m sure they will sellout, or will alot in Mayo/Galway not bother going due to hassle if it

  92. I refer back to my comment on a recent thread…if we had Harry (an all star and our best full back line player) and Doc back, properly. If we had Keegan and Diarmuid fully fit (they arent). If we had Cillian…. if we had these 5 motoring then I’d be going into this Connacht Final expecting to win. This time around I’m in the ‘hope rather than expectation’ category.

    In fact, id be confident against any team in the country if we had a squad with ‘key’ players all available, which gives us hope over the coming years but ONLY if we hold onto Mullin. If you offered me a choice – keep Mullin permanently and lose the 2021 Connacht final OR win it but Mullin goes to Aus in 2022, I’d 100% go with the former (influenced partly but only marginally, by the fact that Cillian is out this season).

  93. …unless of course we went on to win an AI this year :)) ….but let’s be realistic. Without Cillian, the chances are slim.

  94. We will beat Galway I’m confident if that, we will have a better understanding of were we are at after, I think Dublin might be starting to unravel but Kerry getting stronger

  95. will it still be classed as a home game as in will it be salthill if we meet them next year?

  96. Tough ask to beat Galway with some many senior players missing for various reasons, irrespective of where we play them.

  97. Very hard to imagine such a situation but could you imagine the GAA or Dublin moving a Leinster final out of say a reduced 3500 ticket game at Croke park to an 18000 capacity , McHale Patk , Semple Stadium , Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Fitzgerald Stadium, Casement Park or Pearse Stadium so more fans could attend

  98. How come the Munster final is still pencilled in for Fitzgerald stadium.

    Surely all the provincial finals will now be in Croke Park.

  99. Id say objections to the munster final moving to croker would be alot more than here in Connacht. They wouldn’t sell near 18000 for it.

  100. Questions that need to be asked and answered by John Prenty..Do Mayo retain their home advantage v Galway for the next Connacht Championship game v Galway?.. 1.30 pm throw in, Sunday week, obsiously it’s not a double header in Croke Park, neither the traveling Mayo or Galway fans will be safely able to see whatever other GAA game is going out on TV live, unless they watch it in a pub in Dublin, of course it’s a long day, it’s 150 miles to Dublin from where I live, it’s much longer for many in both Galway and Mayo, all that time on the road, 12 to 14 hours minimum for those traveling from the West, and you know despite what some seen to be saying, that’s the geographical location of the both Counties Mayo and Galway, it’s also the location of the vast majority of the players from both sides.. the need to eat, the desire to mix … And how in the name of all that’s holy is that safer re the risk of Covid 19 infection in comparison to a game in Mchale Park, where the vast majority of those traveling to the match, could be back at home 4 hour’s max from leaving the house.. Will busses and trains bringing fans to the game be just 20% full, how could social distancing possibly be monitored in order to do it safely… Those traveling from either Galway or Mayo will easily have to spend, 4 or 5 time’s the amount of time traveling on a bus or train, there and back… There isn’t any sense in having Croke Park, socially distanced in the open air, if it’s not possible for those traveling, and it’s not possible to do it for those traveling and having to spend between 6 and 8 hour’s on a bus or train from the West of Ireland to Dublin and back… It’s the wrong decision, for public health reasons, and that’s what is the most important.

  101. From a Footballing perspective – it’s a bit of a no-brainer. 100% Croker is a happier hunting ground for Mayo.

    From a Health And Safety issue, not so much. Alot of supporters will have to travel the width of the country to attend, although uptake of tickets for Dublin based ex-pats of both Galway, but particularly Mayo I suspect will be high. 18k in an 82k stadium – is it really any safer than 7k on McHale? Dunno to be honest.

    The financial aspect does at first glance appear to be a smart move (not bleeding supporters dry aside). 30 Euros x 18k, even with the cut taken for opening costs is a nice number – and I believe it goes to the Provincial Council, as it did when Ulster played their finals there in the Noughties. It’s certainly more than McHale would turn over, alot more.

    No point in moving the Munster final to Croker – Cork won’t want to see a mauling dished out, and sure no true Kerry supporter would even consider leaving such a magnificent place for anything less than the chance to see Sam lifted by one of their own true heirs to football.

  102. Purely from a footballing perspective, I am delighted with the move.
    Everyone seems to forget that the McHale park surface is being dug up with immediate effect.
    Why?
    It is being dug up because it is a lumpy muddy surface that is not fit for purpose. It is certainly not fit for the athletes we have on our Mayo team right now. It has caused so many injuries.
    Maybe part of the reason for the change of venue is to bring the McHale resurfacing date forward to allow it to happen while we have half decent temperatures for the reseeding.

  103. Ticket’s for Leinster semi finals on sale now, all Ticket’s €30 each, no juvenile/family Ticket’s available with 18,000 allowed in. Once again the gaa don’t care about the cost to families

  104. I’ve taken a look at the archive (to augment my memory), and our Croker record is pretty impressive since 2011.

    Dublin apart, we’ve only been beaten once at Croker, (Donegal 2012 AI final) since 2011. This includes QF wins against Cork (twice), Donegal (twice), Down, Tyrone, Roscommon, and SF wins against Dubin (!), Tyrone, Tipp (twice), Kerry (plus 2 draws, 2014, 2017).

    Even the record against Dublin – two draws and a win and very close defeats (bar 2019), is better than the rest.

    Chesneychet, Tuamstar, Big Mike, that’s consistently competitive! Sure, it guarantees nothing the next day, and, (COVID related), our actual team is likely to be a complete mystery until the throw in, which is very worrying. And I agree, it’s not like Galway will hate Croker, or have no one there, or will, for some unknown reason, lack motivation.

    Still, it was a pleasant tour through the archives.

  105. I figured there would be no concessions for kids/families alright
    God they are so hungry for money

  106. I have been going back and forth on this all day. From a pure footballing point of view I believe this is undoubtedly an advantage to Mayo. Croke Park definitely favours our style of football more than McHale Park and our younger players gained invaluable experience from playing there last year.
    The 10% attendance rule makes no sense in my view in large open air stadia. I believe it is a figure picked out at random. There is no reason why a crowd of 12 to 15 thousand could not be catered for safely in Castlebar. However others have decided on these figures so there is no point pursuing that avenue at this stage. I cannot see a crowd of 18,000 socially distanced bringing much of an atmosphere to Croke Park.
    Here’s hoping it comes of and we have the rare happening of bringing the Nestor Cup back across the Shannon from Dublin..

  107. Well I am not a bit suprised that there are no family tickets. No doubt that is a very big expense on families Pity Mid West didnt question Mr. Prenty on that. 783 cases today. Dr Glynn advising to “avoid crowds” and mayo/galway fans traipising across the country.

  108. Anyone from Galway or Mayo moaning about the game being played in Croake Park are overlooking the advantage this game will give the winning team when they meet Dublin in the Semi Final. Half the country are moaning about the advantage Dublin have in playing their games there and now this gives the winner a little advantage in halving played there. I am sure that Padraig Joyce and James Horan are happy with the move. Playing the Connaught Final in Castlebar is no preparation for a game against Dublin in Croke Park

  109. Lot of misplaced sentiments in here about croke park. I can understand some of the discontent but dont be giving it the cases per day argument for goodness sake , these cases are not contributing to any significant increase in hospitalisations . We have to as society start taking some calculated risk otherwise we will never return to normal life . Pubs wont be open indoors on the 25th , it will be a very safe environment with 18 or 22k in a 82k capacity stadium , its an outdoor arena .

    mchale park can only hold 3600 under social distancing rule of 2m according to a steward i spoke to sunday . so again i am trying to understand do the complainers believe they would of all got tickets and where in the name of gawd were you all last sunday.

    as for lost revenue to the town , very miniscule . i walked castlebar a couple of hrs before throw in and it was a ghost town , not a jersey in sight. An sportlann wasnt even open at the ground on sunday either .

  110. @Sean Burke, increased new infections equals increased new hospitalisations, re Covid, and other’s going without hospital treatment for other conditions, that’s just a simple fact, how can you possibly suggest otherwise.. Lower number of people in hospital is always going to be the case in Ireland, concidering that we have by a long way the least amount of public hospital beds per Capita in the EU.. and you will find that our hospital’s are pretty full at all times!

  111. Increased but not significantly and most evidence is pointing towards its amongst the young who are in turn not getting seriously ill and thus meaning the older generation who are fully vaccinated are also pretty much protected from serious illness and death.

    19th of july Englamd removes social distancing and mask wearing , back to normal life pretty much returns .

    Its time to live with covid , wear a mask if in a crowd , use your common sense for the next year or so and it will just become a part of life like the common flu.

  112. Im just wondering how anyone from Mayo can say Croke Park suits them given all the final defeats there. I doubt PJ will consider the big open space in Croker a disadvantage to Galway. Indeed I fancy us even more in Croke Park and expect a great performance from Galway. The Mayo defence will certainly be tested in those open spaces and no COC to take the frees. The supreme confidence of Mayo supporters may be justified but the likes of Comer, Walsh, Kelly, Cooke, Tierney will enjoy the space too.

  113. Sure Keats all stay l ilex down for the rest of the year. Time to live with it. There will be another variant this winter. Time to live life again or else what’s the point?

  114. Haven’t all over 30 received somr type of Vaccine, where are those cases arising ??

  115. sligo poor here , roscommon very good . it will certainly be ros we are facing in the final

  116. @Sean Burke, Well not all the elderly are Vacinated, or indeed all of any age group, might be Vacine hesitancy or for some other reason unable to take the Vacine.. I don’t know the percentages, if as you say, and you have a very reasonable point, we need to learn to live with it, the Connacht Final played at Mchale Park with 30K attendance, and only a fraction of the time spent in close proximity to others represents less risk to me than thousands traveling Eastwards and Westwards in sealed tincans of Busses and Trains for a much greater length of time. .. We are bad enough in Ireland as we are, I wouldn’t be going down the road of following anything that England, and their own Trump like leader, Borris Johnson does in relation to Covid, .. He started off with the lunacy of Herd Immunity, boasted of shaking hands with every Covid patient in hospital, and ended up in Intensive Care with Covid himself, The Island of Britian had the Worst statistics as regards in the whole world..

  117. I dont think its welcomed here to go in to this debate , i have my view you have yours , sin e . although anyone that refuses vaccine through some kind of conspiracy theory rubbish deserve no pity .

  118. Anyone who wants to go to Croake Park now will be able to get a ticket. Anyone who wants to stay at home can watch it on TV . Think about it everyone should be happy. Fair play to John Prenty. Both Teams who are the ones training night after night and travelling long distances to do this will be happier playing in Croake Park. We should think about them. Also dont forget one team will loose despite their sacrifices and at least they will have had a game in Croake Park. As regards safety the fans will be travelling in Cars to McHale Park just the same at they will be travelling to Croake Park. And we are informed that you are a close contact if you are 15 minutes in the presence of an infected person so Croake or McHale no difference

  119. Chesneychet – Catcol’s comment at 4.14pm (which he partly addressed to you) answered that question before you posed it. The last team we lost to in Croke Park aside from Dublin was Donegal in 2012 and we’ve won a bunch of matches against a variety of teams at HQ since then. Over the past decade we’ve consistently played much better in Croke Park than in MacHale Park and it’s a pitch that suits our style of play. I wouldn’t say we’re supremely confident but we’ve a good track record at the venue heading into this match and that should stand to us. The factors to the contrary that you point out are, of course, relevant too and make it a game that could easily go either way.

  120. The Austrians have roughly the same death toll from Covid as ourselves and recently held two formula one Grand Prix with a combined attendance of nearly 300,000 people. Very few cases seem to have accrued a few weeks later.

    I’m tempted to say that we are being a little over cautious with regard to limitations on spectators for outdoor sport (indoor activities being a different kettle of fish).

  121. Having played better in Croke Park in comparison to Mchale Park in the championship, had as much to do with it been later on in the year, at least as much as it being the wide open spaces of Croke Park as Mayo had prepared for peak performance later on in the year.. Our last Championship game in Mchale Park v another condender eg Donegal would bear this out.. and our dismal outings for all our league games v Dublin in Croker would suggest the same!

  122. We complain about the Dubs using Croker and now we are complaining when we get a chance to use it.

  123. The Galway forwards are surely due to “come alive at Croke Park” at some stage too 😉

  124. They were supposed to come alive in limerick too and up stepped young jimmy carr boom boom , oíche mhaith Galway. or as marty once famously said as mac sailed one over with the citog , goodbye galway helooooooo mayo

  125. I think that should be a special name for the James Carr, supergoal scored in Limrick v Galway.. I call it the “Caradona” it reminds me so much of probably the greatest ever goal scored in any sport by the late great Maradona. And James Carr supergoal went viral (the good sort of viral) in Argentina as well, millions of views!

  126. @It means nothing to me,… You need to check the stats on your assertion that the Aussies have roughly the same death’s from Covid as ourselves… Ireland has approximately 35 time’s the death rate per Capita in comparison to OZ.

  127. Couldn’t agree more Jr and I’d prefer travelling to Croker rather Pearse Stadium any day

  128. @Leantimes: I wrote about Austria, not Australia. The Australian GP hasn’t happened because of the very tight restriction of flights and foreign nationals into Oz.

  129. @Corick+Bridge: Galway were playing in Division One this year while we were slugging it out in Division Two. And they ran us to a point last year in the Connacht final despite missing a few key players, so I’m struggling to understand how everyone on here is as confident as they are. For me the game could go either way.

  130. No matter where the venue is , its going to be a 50:50 game. Our hard running game suits Croke Park but an open defence can also get destroyed in Croker. Was looking forward to going but @ €50 a ticket , im not so sure. No word on kids tickets yet.

  131. There is no way it will be 50 a ticket
    If it is then I think we have our answer as to the real motivation
    That would be obscene money especially with kids tickets full price , travel , accommodation etc

  132. I’m predicting tickets will be either €35 or €40, and that the attendance will be upped – maybe 20,000. That would leave gate receipts at €700k to €800k. Not to be sneezed at in these desperate times for sports organisations.

    I’m a bike ride away here in South Dublin, so it is handy, but for those who were lashing out at Dubs-based supporters having it easy, I did travel West last weekend, have travelled to Clones, Ballybofey, Killarney, Ennis, Limerick, Newry, Galway, and many more. And will again, all going well. I think people like Willie Joe fall into this category also!

    However, I’m not sure of the public health gains in all of this, but that’s outside the GAA’s control. John Prenty did consult with both counties, so obviously they are in agreement with the decision. Connacht Council of course will be big winners here.

  133. @My apologies , ‘It means nothing to me’.. Yes you did say Austria.. must get my glasses checked…

  134. From looking at the records it appears that this is not the first time a Connacht Final was played in Croke Park. The 1922 Con final, which wasn’t played till 1923 due to a bit of bother/national crisis, was won by Sligo who beat Galway in Tuam by a point. Objectionitis was rife in the GAA in that era and the Galway boys duly objected presumably on the grounds that being bet by Sligo in Tuam was an affront to the spirit of the national game.
    In any case a replay was ordered and Galway won in Croker by 2 point in Sept 1923.
    Lets hope if Mayo beat them this time they won’t try to drag us down to Tuam for a rematch.

  135. I go to the games in Croke Park but Local people and local businesses will be interrupted because of this, has the Connacht Council or Croke Park considered any of these. There’s enough scheduled games without this too.

  136. I suppose you are right Willie Joe but as a Galway hurling fan who has suffered many final defeats there its those games you remember not semis, league games except Joes point against Tip that was very memorable. I accept Galway football isnt exactly on fire but the focus switching to Dublin by a fair few on here as if we are poor Leitrim is baffling. There are lads on that team with a few club All Ireland medals played in Croker so it wont come as a shocking surprise to Galway to be there. Sure Mayo have fast lads and good players and it will take a serious effort by Galway to win but its certainly doable. Shane fully fit as expected so hopefully Galway can name their strongest team a failure that blighted Kevin Walsh and PJ to a lesser extent.

  137. @chesneychet
    I’d take what’s being said by some here with a pinch of salt. In saying that it’s all opinions, so maybe I’m wrong too!
    For what it’s worth, I don’t think we’ll beat Galway. Galway have a damn good team this year with all fully fit. I don’t think either team will have enough to take down Dublin at the end of it all. Should be a good game Sunday week but without Cillian, I’d expect Galway to come out the right side of it.

  138. It means nothing to me,there is a reason we are playing big boys football this year,and Galway are in the small play ground,we are dining at the top table because we hammered all before us in division two

  139. Mayo have been playing big boys football for years and were only a few months away from it. I don’t think that will have any bearing on what happens in Croker. Our lads should be able to reach the intensity that’s needed. It will be tough but I think mayo will shade it.

  140. A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t as worried about Galway. However with the Covid outbreak and injury doubts around Keegan, Kevin McLoughlin and Diarmuid it has made me much more nervous. People say croke park is our second home but if you go through our likely team, Hession & Darren McHale have never played there. If Rory Byrne and Padraig O’Hora start they have little or no experience there either.

  141. im cocky as hell about beating galway and make no apologies about it .Hotel booked for semi final already

  142. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are some Galway fans posing as Mayo fans on here, hoping to instill over confidence on the county. We’ve suffered too much misery to be over confident lads. 🙂

  143. Tickets for Galway game on sale Monday from ‘usual outlets’ is what the Connacht Telegraph is saying. Doesn’t say what time

  144. Seen that about tickets been released on monday . How do they work it for 18k as in what stands are open ? I’d of imagined all stands cause it make it more spaced out but is that possible for such a small crowd in the context of croker ?

  145. Anyway folks, you’ll be very safe in an outdoor arena with it not even a 1/4 full so if ye can make the trip do so . We always give them a lift and have done our bit over the years, no sense in letting the side down now .

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