The attendance at Sunday’s TG4 All Ireland Ladies Football Finals looks like it could top 50,000, another remarkable milestone after last year’s world record attendance at a women’s sporting event of just over 46,000.
Sport for Business understands that advance ticket sales are ahead of last year and that a new record attendance is almost certain with the magical figure of 50,000 a live possibility.
There is no official word on an expected number and that is understandable given our collective occasional obsession with them but there is a real sense of Sunday being one of the occasions in the sporting calendar that has to be experienced live.
With last Sunday’s Camogie Final attracting the fourth biggest attendance in its history and the continued high visibility of the Women’s Hockey team, there has never been a more optimistic time for Women’s sport in the widest context.
The captains from the six competing counties in the Championship Finals were present at Croke Park yesterday ahead of the triple-header. All three matches will be broadcast live on TG4 with the senior match between Dublin and Cork throwing in at 4 PM.
This will be preceded by Louth and Limerick battling it out for the Junior title, and Meath facing Tyrone for the Intermediate crown.
Dublin are aiming to retain the Brendan Martin Cup for the very first time in the county’s history, following previous successes in 2010 and 2017.
Standing in their way are 11-time champions Cork, who are back in the Senior Final for the first time since 2016. Cork and Dublin have met four times previously in Senior deciders, with the Leesiders emerging victorious on each occasion, including three successive Finals in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“We know the challenge we’re facing, there’s familiarity of course but equally every game stands on its own,” said Dublin Captain Sinéad Aherne.
“We know the level of performance required for us to put ourselves in the frame but we just see it as a great opportunity to deliver on all the effort the players and management have put in.”
Dublin claimed their very first Lidl National League Division 1 title in May before going on to land a seventh successive Leinster Senior title.
Mick Bohan’s team then achieved victories over Cavan, Mayo, Kerry and Galway to reach the Final.
Ephie Fitzgerald’s Cork side regained the Munster Senior crown before defeating Monaghan, Armagh, Westmeath and Donegal to book a return to Croke Park.
“It’s been a good year for us,” said Cork Captain Ciara O’Sullivan.
“We developed some of the younger players in the Lidl League and while we were disappointed to lose the semi-final, we learned a lot from it.”
“Winning the Munster championship was massive for us as a young team, and particularly having not even made the Munster final last year.”
“The TG4 All-Ireland Finals at Croke Park are the pinnacle of our championship season, said Ladies Gaelic Football Association President Marie Hickey.
“These are three games to savour. Cork and Dublin is the renewal of an old rivalry in the Senior Final while Tyrone and Meath have provided some thrilling and entertaining football during their respective Intermediate campaigns. The Junior Final will bring back memories of 2010, when Limerick and Louth also competed for the West County Hotel Cup.”
“The road to Croke Park has enthralled each and every one of us, with highs and lows along the way. We’ve had a great season of Championship action to date and the three Finals that lie in store will see our 2018 champions crowned. We are very fortunate that TG4 continue to be our championship partners and broadcast our game, not just nationally, but to a worldwide audience, free to air.”
The All-Ireland Club Sevens, featuring 70 teams, take place in St Sylvester’s GAA Club Malahide and Naomh Mearnóg GAA Club, Portmarnock, on Saturday 15th of September. Teams from all over Ireland and Britain will compete and there will be an Asian team, the Singapore Gaelic Lions represented for the first time this year.
On Saturday evening, from 9.30pm, Seó Beo Pheil na mBan le Lidl’ will air LIVE on TG4 from the Mansion House, Dublin.
With the support of the LGFA and Lidl, TG4 and Tyrone productions are producing a TV event to celebrate the All-Ireland Finals, featuring music, chat and a host of special guests.
Join us on Friday for an interview with Rónán O Coisdealbha, TG4 Head of Sport in our Sponsor Spotlight series.
Read more about our 2018 Sport for Business Sport for Social Good Report and half day conference on September 27th and reserve your place to hear about campaigns from the Manchester United Foundation, Unicef, Allianz and many more
Image Credit Inpho.ie