Duffy says ticket prices not to change this year

Finance director Tom Ryan: "We were taken aback by the demand for replay tickets."

Finance director Tom Ryan: "We were taken aback by the demand for replay tickets."

Thu, Mar 7, 2013, 00:00

There was good news for match goers at yesterday’s launch of the GAA annual accounts in Croke Park. In response to questions about the price of tickets this year, director general Páraic Duffy said that the price for Central Council matches – All-Ireland qualifiers, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals – would not change this year.

In relation to last year’s decision to cut the cost of tickets for the All-Ireland hurling replay to €50, Duffy was asked would that be the practice for future such situations and he replied: “We’d want to have a lower price for All-Ireland replays without tying ourselves to specific figures.”

Demand for tickets

The demand for tickets for the hurling final replay surprised the GAA’s finance director Tom Ryan. “We were taken aback by the demand for replay tickets,” he said before going on to outline why the association had been so pleased by gate receipts rising to their second-highest level, €26.8 million, outside the years when Croke Park was rented out for soccer and rugby.

“Last summer represented a significant potential banana-skin because we were competing for the attention of the sporting public. By and large the European soccer championships and Olympic Games in London didn’t have a significant adverse impact even if it could be argued that we might have done even better without them taking place.”

One of the most striking aspects of the accounts was how robustly hurling gates competed with the traditionally larger football attendances. The All-Ireland replay was the primary factor in the equivalence between championship gate receipts: €10.9 million (football) against €10.6 million (hurling) but the national leagues also showed convergence.

Almost identical

The Division One football and Division One A hurling gate receipts were almost identical – €1.03 million compared to €1.02 million – which is all the more unusual given that there are far fewer matches in the latter: 17 compared to 31.

By far the biggest gate came in the hurling final between Kilkenny and Cork: €213,499, compared to the €112,697 estimate (the Division One and Two finals were played on the same double bill) for the football equivalent between Cork and Mayo.

The comparison also takes into account the fact that Dublin’s successful league promotions in Croke Park are part of the Division One football figures.

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