Kerry chairman Patrick O’Sullivan says that they are expecting an attendance of around 25,000 for Saturday’s qualifier between Kerry and Tyrone which would represent the largest ever crowd for a qualifier outside of Croke Park.
“Judging by the Kerry crowd that went to Mullingar, the number of visitors to the area at present and the Tyrone crowd that could travel, we’re preparing for 25,000,” said O’Sullivan for a game that will also be televised by TV3. The game is attracting huge interest due to the rivalry built up over the past decade, with Kerry yet to emerge victorious against the Red Hand in that period having lost an All-Ireland semi-final and two finals to Mickey Harte’s side.
Tyrone forward is predicting a “war” when the sides take to the field in Killarney. The four-time All-Star who has been hampered in recent seasons with injuries is under no illusions of the scale of the task facing his side. “This is Kerry. They may have had a bit of a rough patch, but they are still one of the best teams in the country, and we will have to be up for it,” the 29 year old declared. “It’s going to be a war, a very tough game for us, especially with Kerry having home advantage. Kerry are the team that everybody wanted to avoid”.
If O’Sullivan’s prediction is right, this weekend could be the second weekend exceeding the 100,000 attendance mark. The Leinster final is anticipated to draw 60,000 supporters to Croke Park with around 25,000 spectators expected for the Ulster final in Clones. This would result in over €2 million for the GAA in gate receipts alone.