‘The aim is to deliver 10,000’ – Shamrock Rovers aims for more record crowds ahead of sold-out Dublin Derby

Tonight’s highly anticipated Dublin derby takes place in a sold-out Tallaght Stadium, with Shamrock Rovers describing the demand as “exceptional”.

The visit from bitter rivals Bohemians marks the fifth time this season that a Friday night match has sold more than 7,000 tickets. 7,500 supporters will descend on Dublin 24, the same number that saw the champions win 1-0 the last time the teams met in Tallaght. Season ticket sales at Rovers have doubled since 2018, and with a new booth due to be completed next season, the club hopes to reach 10,000 sold-out games soon.

“We have a very healthy base of 3,500 season tickets, which has doubled since 2018,” said Mark Lynch, director at Shamrock Rovers.

“On average, we’re definitely up about 30 percent. That is not necessarily because of Covid. It was steadily increasing anyway, but I think a lot of things have changed for people because of the pandemic, the attitude and sense of belonging.

“It’s also €25 for a children’s subscription, which is €1.40 per game. You can see how young the fan base is when you go to Tallaght Stadium. With that foundation, match-by-match buyers also come in droves. At the beginning of 2023, another 2,000 seats will be added, which is fantastic for us.”

Figures from extratime.com show that of the 20 clubs in both divisions, 18 have seen an increase in attendance compared to 2019. This is a remarkable statistic and shows that the appetite for live, domestic football is thriving. Future Ticketing, which has partnered with a range of domestic clubs, predicts a record 600,000 fans will attend League of Ireland matches this year.

Lynch says the vast majority of tickets are now being bought online, with many supporters eager to get their hands on one for fear the game will sell out. It is also home to the Irish women’s team and the men’s U-21s, and it is hoped that Tallaght Stadium will also be used for concerts and other major events from next year. Tallaght Stadium’s match experience and location make it an excellent place to watch live football, he adds.

“The goal is to bring sold-out crowds to 10,000,” Lynch added.

“90 percent of tickets are now sold online. Before Covid, selling online would have been less popular compared to buying at the stands. There’s an idea that if you don’t get your ticket early you might not get one, that’s a very healthy position to be in.

“We have a great match experience and the stadium is a big part of that. We have to build on that and keep improving in terms of catering, retail and atmosphere. It is a very accessible stadium. There are about ten buses and the “Luas red line and it is just off the N81 making it easy to get to for away fans. It’s a great place to come and watch football, the pitch is fantastic and we have really talented players. It makes it a spectacle.”

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