GAA’s central revenues surged in 2019 to €74 million
Annual financial report: gate receipts in 2019 recover after the previous year’s slump
The football championship bounced back from 2018’s decline with nearly a 50 per cent rise in revenues, greatly facilitated by the All-Ireland football final replay between Dublin and Kerry. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
The GAA’s central revenues surged in 2019, rising by 16 per cent to €74 million. The increases were driven by much better match revenues and a significant dividend of €10.5 million - up 31 per cent - from the Croke Park stadium company. Redistribution of Central Council income also rose by a cent in the euro to 84c after administration costs.
At Tuesday’s launch of the association’s annual financial report, it emerged that gate receipts in 2019 had recovered after the previous year’s slump - through a combination of ticket price increases and bigger crowds.
The football championship, which had registered the biggest decline in 2018 bounced back with nearly a 50 per cent rise in revenues, greatly facilitated by the All-Ireland football final replay between Dublin and Kerry but the overall trend was up with a 12 per cent increase in All-Ireland series crowds.
Football registered the bigger increase with a 43 per cent or €5.5 million rise in revenues. Three million of that came from the Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland final replay. Hurling was more or less static, going up €300,000 to €10.5 million.
Overall gate receipts were up by 22 per cent from €29,575,091 to 36,071,398 and the operating surplus for 2019 rose by nearly a third to €12,119,522.
Ger Mulryan, the association’s director of finance in his second annual report, said that the “trajectory of the finances is good” and described the year as “stable and solid” but cautioned about the future, saying that the association would face different challenges in 2021.
He also reported that the distribution figure of what goes back to GAA units was at €14,500,000 - up from €13,900,000.
Main headings of Central Council income for 2019 were gate receipts at 49 per cent, commercial revenue at 27 per cent and other streams - largely Croke Park at 14 - providing 24 per cent.
Mulryan said that of the 364 match days organised by Central Council, just 42 were profitable, meaning that 320 ran at a loss.
On the subject of games development grants, Dublin’s allocation at €1,337,630 was slightly up on 2018 but Antrim received 545,606 under the Gaelfast project with Meath on €353,297 and Kildare 335,474.
Croke Park stadium’s consolidated profitability was also buoyant with revenue up from €42,839,583 to €47,644,071. Stadium director Peter McKenna was able to announce a €2,500,000 increase in the grant to Croke Park - from €8,000,000 - bringing the total to €117,500,000 mark since the transfers began in 2006.