Paraic Duffy denies GAA will sell naming rights to Croke Park
Seems we won't get to see Dublin V Kerry in the Croke Park Insurance Arena
There was more than a little surprise this morning when it was reported in the Irish Times that GAA Director-General Paraic Duffy made some pretty revealing comments in relation to Croke Park and what it might be called in the future.
At an event on Wednesday in Croke Park, Duffy was reported to have said that there never had been any discussion in relation to a name change at GAA HQ, and the association had no real interest in looking for potential sponsors to sell naming rights:
'We have never had any offers on Croke Park, nor have we sought it. It has never been discussed really. That’s for the GAA to decide. But I don’t see it as likely.'
However the article contains this opening first line that the GAA does not seem happy with,
It seemed pretty clear from Duffy's quotes that the GAA would not be considering any name deal in the short-term at least, but they GAA issued a clarification rather quickly today to shoot down any fears that the All-Ireland finals might be played in the eBay Bowl in the future,
'In response to a question from an Irish Times journalist, he had stated that the GAA had never received or sought offers for naming rights in Croke Park, nor had the matter been discussed by the GAA. He had said that he could not talk for 50 or 100 years down the line but in terms of the near future he could not see the GAA selling naming rights to Croke Park.'
Duffy revealed that the GAA had no problems with stadiums selling their naming rights,name checking Cavan's county grounds as one example which had been of benefit to the GAA. He also revealed that if the Cork county board were to come up with a proposal the GAA would have to consider it,
'There’s nothing against stadium naming rights. We have Kingspan Breffni Park. So we’ve accepted the principle of it. And if Cork came to us with a proposal we’d certainly look at it. It would be up to them to come up with a proposal.'
The issue comes just a day after former GAA president Sean Kelly admitted that he could see the GAA hosting rugby and football games again in the future. The Kerryman,who this day 10 years ago successfully had Rule 42 suspended to allow both sports into Croke Park, feels Croke Park is an attractive option for the FAI and IRFU when their current deal with the Aviva runs out.