GAA revenues increased by €5 million in 2017
Increased gates were a contributing factor with All Ireland averages going up to 22,000
Increased gates were a big factor in the GAA’s revenues going up in 2017. Photo: Inpho
The GAA maintained the upwards trajectory of its finances in 2017 with Central Council taking in just over €5,000,000 more than in the previous year for a total €65,620,502. This improvement was built on increased gate revenue, contributing to annual accounts that Director of Finance Tom Ryan described as “a stable, good, decent year”.
Gate receipts improved across the board with an increase of nearly €4 million on the back of an additional 180,000 – or 24 per cent – attending All-Ireland championship matches even allowing for 2016 having benefited from the Dublin-Mayo All-Ireland football final going to a replay and the Kilkenny-Waterford semi-final going to a replay in Thurles, which was worth €1,000,000 to Central Council last year.
There were however replayed football semi and quarter-finals last year between Mayo and Kerry and Mayo and Roscommon.
Ryan welcomed the figures as “arresting the drop of recent years” and said that the average attendance at an All-Ireland championship fixture had grown to 22,000 and that there had been revenue growth in championships and both leagues.
Main headings of Central Council income for 2017 were gate receipts at 52 per cent, commercial revenue at 29 per cent and other streams – largely Croke Park – providing 12 per cent.
Ryan also reported that the distribution figure of what goes back to GAA units was at €14,800,000 – up from €13,400,000 – the highest he had administered as Director of Finance.
On the subject of development grants, Dublin’s allocation at €1,298,630 was down by 11 per cent on 2016 but continues to dwarf other counties with Meath a distant second with €267,046. Ryan said that measures had been taken to redress imbalance.
“I said last year that the purpose wouldn’t be anti-Dublin but to strike a fair balance. For instance we discontinued additional grants for winning competitions given that certain counties kept winning and the grants were exacerbating inequality.”
Holiday funding for All-Ireland finalists of €80,000 each continues.
Croke Park’s profitability was also buoyant, revenue and gross profits up three per cent to €42,658,080 and €31,218,078 (with an operating profit of €10,874,258). Stadium director Peter McKenna was able to announce the same grant to Croke Park as last year – €7,500,000 – bringing to €99,000,000 the total disbursement since the transfers began in 2006.