GAA hoping supporters adapt quickly to cashless access to games

Tickets remain available in retail outlets where cash can be taken

The GAA is monitoring the new policy of cashless access to its fixtures, according to association commercial director Peter McKenna, who says that the hope is that people will adapt quickly to the new arrangements but that the GAA is keeping an open mind on the rollout.

“That would be our view but you constantly have these things under review. Any change has a reaction and it takes a while for these things to resolve themselves. On the one hand, people establish a new way of doing things very, very quickly – as we saw during the pandemic – but we’re definitely keeping an eye on it.”

A lack of cash turnstiles at venues was exacerbated by the crashing of the Ticketmaster site at the weekend and the impact on those attending national league matches.

It happened to Ticketmaster worldwide, according to McKenna. “I understand it came back in time soon enough for us to be okay but obviously it wasn’t ideal for people.”

Already the issue has been raised at a meeting of Cork County Board and the move has been criticised by Age Action because of the disproportionate effect on older people.

At last week’s launch of the GAA’s annual reports the matter was brought up and according to DG Tom Ryan: “Experience to date is that society has moved a little bit closer to what we’re talking about. We’re trying to balance the burden on people who have to take cash at the turnstile and manage it.”

McKenna says that there were a number of reasons for the move, which was rolled out at county championship matches last year and that tickets remain available in retail outlets where cash can be taken.

Tickets remain available in retail outlets where cash can be taken.

“One of the big imperatives of Covid was to avoid contact wherever possible and cash was one area where people had unnecessary contact and that marked the beginning of the cashless approach.

“So we’ve moved away from cash at stiles and there are positives to that. Cash is expensive. People mightn’t realise that but you have to buy floats from banks so there’s a cost and further cost when you bring the money back.

“There’s also leakage when money is involved so this improves the security of individuals and for those on the turnstiles, it makes it an easier transaction.

“That’s the rationale behind it and there is still the facility to use cash at the Centra and Super Valu outlets.”

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times