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Seats could be installed on Hill 16 to ensure social distancing at Croke Park

By James Fenton

June 8, 2020 at 2:49pm

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Croke Park's famous Hill 16 terrace could have seats installed by the end of the year to ensure social distancing.

The GAA announced last week that club fixtures will return on July 31 before inter-county action gets underway no earlier than October 17.

Some reports have suggested that there could be some form of an All-Ireland Final taking place on Saturday, November 21 and the GAA is confident that supporters will be able to attend games when this time comes.

GAA President John Horan told Na Fianna GAA TV that placing seating in Hill 16 is one of the options being considered, as a lottery system for tickets.

He said: "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.

"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."

All GAA activity was suspended back in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Ireland has today entered phase 2 of the easing of lockdown, during which time up to 15 people, including trainers and coaches can take part in sporting activities.

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