Frustrated Mayo fans queued for hours for All-Ireland semi-final tickets today.
Online systems struggled to cope with the demand as fans were glued to keyboards and stood in line for hours on end in a bid to get their hands on a prized ticket for Saturday’s hotly-anticipated clash with Dublin in Croke Park.
Croke Park will see its biggest crowd of the year on Saturday with the semi-final heading towards an 83,200 sell-out. Large crowds waited outside Super Valu stores in Mayo and Dublin and there were virtual queues on tickets.ie of more than 20,000 customers. However, many have reported that they’ve been unexpectedly knocked out of their place after waiting for hours on the website of the GAA’s official ticketing partner. Others received a ‘not for sale’ message after more than five hours waiting.
Anxious supporters were outside Super Valu in Castlebar before 8am this morning but the slow release of tickets by tickets.ie exasperated fans. By 4pm today some supporters had been standing in line for seven hours before the system went down. It was suggested that only 30 tickets were released in Castlebar by late afternoon.
“Is this good enough really? You have to take a day’s work off now to try and get to see a match,” said Mick Barrett, the Castlebar man who famously stormed the pitch against Kerry in 2014. “Hopefully it will all be worth it in the end, we wouldn’t be here otherwise,” said Mick.
“The lack of information is frustrating. Where is the information from the GAA or tickets.ie? We could be here until this time tomorrow nobody knows,” said Gerry Green from Snugboro.
There were suggestions yesterday afternoon that just 200 tickets an hour were being released online.
“They say the system has broken down,” said Islandeady man PJ Conway.
Supporters chatted and kept their spirits up despite the lengthy waiting times.
“We are making the best of the situation. What more can you do? It’s tough going but we are ardent Mayo supporters and we will keep at it,” said Padraig McKeon from Castlebar.
A spokesperson from Tickets.ie acknowledged the high volumes of traffic on Twitter.
“Tickets for both semi-finals are still on sale – retail and online. There are no issues with the listing however there is a queuing system in place to manage the very high volume of traffic on the website. We do apologize for any inconvenience caused and hope you get your tickets.”