Here’s an interesting but useless fact about the sport mad Irish
Did you know that Ireland has the highest sports stadium capacity per population in the world?! That’s 255,601 seats per million, another words nearly one in four have a seat in a stadium waiting for them.
As I’ve said before the top two sports in Ireland are Gaelic football and Hurling, these are armature sports that are run by the GAA. Rugby fans will be aware or Croke Park that was lent to the IRFU while Lansdowne Road was being rebuilt (3rd biggest capacity in Europe)
The way it works is that most town and villages have some sort of GAA pitch there, with at least one in every county being a stadium (36 counties), much like soccer grounds in the UK.
But as per our population there is a staggering amount of these that have a decent capacity. It breaks down roughly 26 over 20,000, of which
13 are over 30,000
6 over 40,000
3 over 50,000, with Croke Park being the biggest at 82,500.
No big shakes you might say, as the UK has at least 27 stadia over 30,000 but then again the UK’s population is over 10 time that of Ireland!
In fact, if you add greater Manchester and Birmingham’s populations together, you’re not far from the whole of Ireland’s and there only 4 stadiums over 30,000 there.
In New Zealand where the next World Cup is (stupid, it should have gone to Japan!) they have only 5. Tickets will be scarce there!
Artist impression: New Eden Park, Auckland. Capacity was 47,000 (Soon to be 66,000!)
So by that twisted logic Ireland is more qualified to make a bid to host the World Cup, so watch this space for the breaking news!! (Although I wouldn’t recommend it as you would all be stuck in traffic on the back roads heading into these towns!!).