Peter McKenna has refuted Eddie Hearn’s claim that Croke Park costs almost three times more to rent out than Wembley Stadium.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed that staging a rematch between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano at Croke Park would cost substantially more than he was expecting, enough to cause a change of venue.
Hearn claimed that Taylor and Serrano’s financial demands meant that choosing Croke Park as the venue would be unviable, with the 3Arena in Dublin now the front runner to host the Bray woman’s next fight.
Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna was speaking to Off The Ball and refuted Hearn’s claims while arguing that the cost of renting out the GAA headquarters is reasonable.
Peter McKenna on the cost of renting out Croke Park.
“We do all of our communication in writing. So we would have met with Matchroom and their Irish representative, Brian Peters, and we went backwards and forwards and sent them materials,” McKenna explained.
“So that is not the case [that renting Croke Park would cost almost three times more than Wembley Stadium]. But someone gets a microphone put under their chin and sometimes and not everything maybe comes out as you wanted.
“I’d be very happy that our rent is market value. Sure look, we had seven concerts last year, if we were too expensive they would have played elsewhere.”
Does Croke Park really cost almost three times as much as Wembley stadium⁉️
🗣“That is not the case”
Croke Park Stadium Director Peter McKenna responds to comments made by boxing promotor @EddieHearn and @arielhelwani about the Katie Taylor fight
🗣“Our rent is market value” pic.twitter.com/O67EWLo27v
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) February 2, 2023
Issues surrounding hosting the fight in May.
Hearn is aiming for Taylor’s homecoming fight to take place on Saturday, May 20th, which is an awkward date to stage the bout at Croke Park for multiple reasons.
Firstly, Croke Park will have been used the previous weekend to stage the Leinster Football Championship final, and would likely be used again for more GAA matches shortly afterwards.
There is also the matter of the Heineken Champions Cup final, which is taking place on the same day at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, which will put security forces under considerable strain.
“Certainly September would be better timing for ourselves because you could do things with far less urgency. When you have to do things in days and not weeks, it becomes expensive,” McKenna said.
“The Heineken Cup final is going to be in Dublin that weekend, it’s very likely there’ll be an Irish team in the final. Leinster are doing so well at the moment you can’t really see them not being there.
“That puts massive pressure on hotel rooms but also massive pressure on security services. We only have so many Gardai and that’s a big international event. To add another big international event on top of it really does stretch the system.
“What we don’t want to do is run events that are not safe. That would be a real concern.”
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