by Fiona O’Brien
Due to unprecedented demand London GAA has confirmed that their headline opening Connacht Football Championship tie against Mayo will be an All Ticket Event
With huge interest sparked six months prior to the game on May 29, the London board have announced there will be no tickets available on the gate as Ciaran Deeley prepares for the biggest fixture in his first year as manager.
It marks an exciting start to 2016 for London as newly appointed chairman John Lacey prepares for one of Ruislip’s ‘biggest ever events’.
The sizeable Mayo population in London stands to attract huge crowds and the event set up on London GAA’s Facebook page has over 2,000 people expressing an interest in attending. With the official capacity set at 3,000 it is inevitable that some unlucky fans will miss out before Ruislip expands to fit 3,900.
“It will probably be our biggest ever event,” said Mr Lacey.
“The interest in football in London is huge at the moment and with the status Mayo hold at the moment of course there is a huge appeal. It will definitely be something the board will be concentrating on giving fairly early preparation towards in the new year.”
With the infamous Mayo ‘curse’ there is the added interest as a strong Mayo side going for their eighth All Ireland final in 2016, losing all since their last Sam Maguire win in 1951.
The last time the sides faced each other in such a high-profile match was in the 2013 Connacht Final, where London under former manager Paul Coggins had gained a huge following after wins over Sligo and Leitrim. The London board have confirmed that the match will sell out before match day due to the masses of enquiries for the ‘hottest ticket in town’.
London GAA have offered ticket pre-sales for many past events, but this is the first time that they have had such high demand, and they have never sold out in advance of match-day before.
London footballers have contested the Connacht Football Championship since 1975. In that time they have recorded three victories, one in 1977 as well as the two under Coggins in 2013.
The opening Connacht match traditionally draws the biggest crowd of the year to Ruislip, and is a huge social occasion in the London Irish diary, with entertainment provided for fans post-match.
- London’s first home match of 2016 comes as the senior football team take on Carlow in the Allianz League, where patrons can pay on the day (£10 Adult, £5 Seniors/Students, U16s free).
- Throw in is at 1:30pm on Saturday, February 6.