Irish Government would wlecome second Katie Taylor Croke Park ‘submission’
The Irish Government would ‘love’ to see Katie Taylor [22(6)-0] fight in Croke Park and could be open to helping make it happen later in the year.
The Irish Icon will come home on May 20 in a 3Arena-hosted rematch with Amanda Serrano. It was initially hoped that the repeat of the ‘greatest female fight of all time’ would take place at GAA headquarters but cost issues prevented that from happening.
Matchroom had hoped the Government would share the financial burden and get involved in getting the fight night to Jones Road.
Government ministers did hold positive talks with Taylor’s manager Brian Peters but the May 20 date clashes with the date the Heineken Cup final will be held at the Aviva Stadium and as a result, they couldn’t commit financially.
However, the Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne explained on Tuesday that any other date could be looked at if another submission was to be made, which ties in with Matchroom’s new September Croke Park plans.
Byrne said, “If anyone wants to put in submissions in relation to any other time or venue, we’ll obviously look at it.
“But any funding we give to major events – and we do give funding to major events – there is a cost-benefit analysis to be done in terms of possible benefits to the tourism economy and wider participation to the community.
“We have obviously approved some in recent years – and the Government has decided not to approve other ones where that cost-benefit doesn’t stack up.
“In this instance, that one isn’t going ahead on May 20, but we would love Katie Taylor to be fighting in Croke Park,” he went onto add.
“If the promoters or managers want to come back with proposals…I met (Taylor’s manager) Brian Peters and his colleagues after Christmas and they did put in proposals after, but it’s not happening now so it’s not an issue at the moment.
“What we have said in public is what we said to Katie’s manager (Peters) – and I never met Eddie Hearn – is that May 20th, because the rugby Heineken Cup (final) is on in Dublin, it seemed to us straight off that that would be hard to justify from a tourism point of view, and that if you said November – and I’m not saying November – it is obviously easier to make in terms of a tourism case.
“Now, that doesn’t commit us to a certain date but just to illustrate.
“So, if they came to us with another proposal, of course we would look at it out of respect to Katie Taylor but, again, with all these proposals, there is a high threshold to cross.”