The quest for that elusive ticket

Getting a ticket for an All-Ireland final is an art-form. One that might, in time, become to be represented in the sea of art in which we are all currently sailing here in Galway.

They say you can almost trade up to Michael D’s seat in the Ard Comhairle if you start off with a solitary Hill ticket. I have a friend who is a master at it. However, the stickler is that you have to have a card to play with, you have to have some form of a ticket to transform.

This same lad went to Dublin with a Hill ticket any year he wanted to go, and nearly always ended up with his arse plonked on a fine seat in the midst of Premium, looking for all the world like he belonged there.

But if you can get your hand on any sort of a ticket, the message is to grab it. With the worst ticket in the ground, you can trade your way up. The lad I know above ended up with three Hogan Stands for one final after he bartered his solitary Hill ticket. To be fair, he made sure they went to good homes.

It is all about want and need. Want and need is what makes the world go around. It is what keeps commerce going. It is what drives us through life, as we move the scales of want and need according to our particular circumstances.

As the days between now and an All-Ireland Final come closer, those scales of want and need will alter for many Galway football fans. What they are prepared to do or give for a ticket will become more acute as the days go by. For most, there’ll be “a fella who told me he’ll sort me out.” For many, there will be a cousin or a workmate from across the border in Mayo who will be repaying all the favours for the past decade or so which saw Galway tickets go to hopeful fans from north of the Shrule line. There mightn’t be too many Mayo fans eager to travel to Dublin to watch a match through open fingers.

For the next week, phones will be hopping. There should be more tickets going around anyway because of the absence of the Minor match; that having been played in Roscommon last Friday night, leading to celebratory scenes in Newbridge and Bally-G as the cup crossed the border after its shortest ever journey home.

The Galway Races was always a place you could find a spare ticket floating, or find someone who could look after you. But with this new condensed inter county season, barring a replay, all the silverware will be on its way home by the time the white flag is raised on the Ballybrit opener.

So the challenge is on. Good luck with your quest. In the meantime, let’s festoon the place with maroon and white...and create a winning atmosphere.


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