Armagh and Derry fans will head to Dublin this weekend to watch their teams attempt to secure a place in the semi-finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.
Ulster champions Derry are first on Saturday as Rory Gallagher’s men take on Clare at 15.45 at Croke Park. This game is the first game in a double-header where Leinster champions Dublin take on Cork at 6pm.
On Sunday, Kieran McGeeney’s Orchardmen take on Galway at 1.45pm, while Kerry and last year’s All-Ireland finalist Mayo meet at 4pm.
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Over 120,000 spectators are expected for this weekend’s quarter-finals in North Dublin and over 70,000 spectators are expected on Sunday.
The four quarter-final games of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship are expected to bring in over €4 million for the GAA.
But with fuel prices rising and just about everything else right now, how much will the average fan spend to attend this weekend’s games?
Tickets for both double-headers are still on general sale via ticketmaster.ie – although tickets for Sunday’s double-header are limited. There are also a select number of Centra and SuperValu stores selling tickets.
A full-price adult ticket costs €40, although Hill 16 and Nally (standing room) tickets are cheaper at €30.
Youth tickets (Cusack and Davin Grandstand only) are €5.
For next month’s semifinals, tickets are €50 for the Hogan, Davin and Cusack stands, €35 for Hill 16 and Nally tickets, while Juvenile tickets are €10.
Fuel prices are increasing daily and could top £2 a liter this weekend. For Armagh fans driving an average mid-size diesel family car (returning from Armagh City) you will need at least £22.21 worth of fuel in the tank to get to Croke Park and back.
For Derry fans (returning from the city) the journey will cost you £41.53 on fuel alone.
Fans arriving by car should note that the cost of the M1 toll has increased from €1.90 to €2.00 each way this year. Derry fans can avoid the toll by following the N2 all the way to Dublin.
If you haven’t bought bus or train tickets yet, you could be in trouble. Translink’s Armagh vs Galway track special is already sold out. Single tickets are available from Newry Station and cost £15.19 to Connolly Station.
Derry fans can still take advantage of Translink’s bus special, which costs £29 for an adult ticket and £17.40 for a child ticket.
Expect to pay €10 for almost any car park in the Croke Park area. The O’Connell School car park (North Circular Road) has space for approximately 300 cars.
Multi-storey car parks closer to the city center will be significantly more expensive.
Fans should note that Clonliffe College car park is closed for this year.
Game day program
A program for the game costs 5 €.
Pre-game pints (optional)
Quinn’s in Drumcondra used to be a favorite with Northern GAA fans but has closed its doors permanently due to plans for apartments on the site. There are plenty of other pubs in the area and a pint costs between €5 and €7 (expect to pay more if you venture into the city centre).
Catering options at Croke Park may be limited. There are a number of fast food outlets within walking distance of the stadium.
However, some GAA fans will choose to stock the trunk with tea and sandwiches to keep costs to a minimum.
Overnight stay (optional)
Some supporters might decide that the long journey warrants an overnight stay, but availability is limited in Dublin city center on most summer weekends.
On Saturday nights, a double room in a budget hotel costs £143, while several three and four star hotels charge £300 and up.
It’s a bit cheaper on Sunday evenings as a number of guest houses are available for under £100 per room per night whilst some three star hotels are available for £200 for a double.
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