Summer in Salthill hots up this weekend as Pearse Stadium plays host to the eagerly awaited Connacht senior football final.
Around 25,000 supporters are expected to throng the seaside venue on Sunday as neighbours Galway and Roscommon lock horns in the provincial decider.
This is the first Connacht Final to be held in Galway in seven years. And it is the first decider out west since 2010 that doesn’t feature Mayo, who won an unprecedented five in a row, which began in 2011.
Pearse Stadium can safely hold 28,000 and the GAA is predicting a near full-house as optimism returns to Galway football following Kevin Walsh’s team’s shock win over Mayo in Castlebar in June.
Roscommon, too, traditionally bring big support and with the Rossies having gone well in the league this season under new management, a huge following is expected to travel for the 2pm throw-in.
Galway is also contesting the minor final, the curtain raiser, against Mayo, at noon, which will swell the crowd.
Galway GAA Chairman, John Hynes predicted it would be a ‘bumper weekend’ for Salthill and city businesses.
“We will be writing to every club in Galway and Roscommon and encouraging them to come for the day, not just the match. We want people to make a day of it. Galway versus Roscommon is ‘El Classico’ of Connacht, more so than Galway and Mayo, so it is a big event and we’re expecting 25,000.”
For more on this story and previews of the Connacht Final, see this week’s Galway City Tribune