Herald backs the Dubs as Spring Series returns
THE Spring Series is back with a bang, and the Evening Herald is the official media partner.
And what a line-up awaits the Dubs in their opening match -- a game against Kerry and a repeat of the epic All Ireland final.
The series at Croke Park will see Dublin's footballers and hurlers take on a host of sides in the Allianz leagues with Tipperary's hurlers and Donegal's footballers among the highlights.
After a successful debut run at GAA headquarters last year, this year's event promises to be bigger and better on the back of the All Ireland and League successes of the hurlers and footballers. And we are the only newspaper who will be able to offer dozens of free tickets to our readers in the coming weeks, as well as free jerseys and other offers.
The Spring Series will be as much about the entertainment provided by a host of acts lined up from February 4.
The Rubberbandits and Ham Sandwich have been announced as two of the highlights this year, while The Dubliners are also hotly rumoured to perform in the third set of games.
"We feel it's a huge plus that the two teams who performed during the All-Ireland final are launching the series, it's great from a marketing point of view and it'll make it a special night for everyone involved," Kevin O'Shaughnessy, strategic programme manager of Dublin County Board, told the Herald.
The series, which is set to run over three days in comparison with last year's four, will see Pat Gilroy's heroic Dubs take on the Kingdom, preceded by Tyrone going head-to-head with Lilywhites Kildare.
"Last year, over the four games we had approximately over 120,000 people which was phenomenal for winter -- we hope to do as well, if not better, this time around. GAA is often crowned as a summer sport so that's part of the marketing programme too, to promote all year round as opposed to just July and August," Mr O'Shaughnessy said.
"It's a very competitive environment and we want to make sure our offering is as good as anyone else's."
"We're giving GAA supporters the chance to see some of Ireland's most talented sportsmen in action as well as fantastic music acts in what should be a great few evenings," Dublin County Board Chairman Andy Kettle added.
"Where else would you get six games and three music acts in the magnificent setting of Croke Park under lights for €30?"
Other highlights include Dublin versus Cork hurlers and the Dubs footballers the footballers versus Armagh and Donegal.