Trading profit of €4.48m in 2011 for venue operator
The operator of the Aviva Stadium in Dublin netted an operating profit of €4.48 million last year, its first full year of trading since reopening in mid-2010 following its multi-million redevelopment.
This compared with an operating loss of €2.68 million in 2010, when the stadium, which is jointly owned by the IRFU and the FAI, was open for just six months.
However, a depreciation payment of €9.9 million and other costs pushed it into the red last year, with the company recording a loss for the year of €2.4 million.
The depreciation related mostly to a reduction in the value of the stadium asset.
The Aviva attracted 850,000 customers to 28 events last year.
These included the Uefa Europa League Final between FC Porto and Sporting Braga, Ireland’s Six Nations rugby win over England, and a number of Heineken Cup victories for Leinster.
It also included concerts by Neil Diamond and The Script.
New Stadium Ltd paid €1.44 million to its 35 staff last year. This compared with €1.35 million to 30 staff in 2010.
Stadium director Martin Murphy described it as a “satisfactory year” given the difficult external economic climate, which he said resulted in “challenging” conditions for ticket sales.
Mr Murphy said more than 33,000 Americans travelled to the recent Notre Dame-Navy college American football match at the Aviva, which has a capacity of about 51,000.
“This is the single biggest group of Americans ever to travel to a sporting event outside the US – and that includes the Olympic Games,” he said.
Mr Murphy estimates the game was worth about €100 million to the local economy.
The Aviva is due to host Ireland’s crucial Fifa World Cup football qualifier against Germany and the 2013 Heineken Cup Final in rugby.