The GAA enjoyed significant year-on-year gate receipts and All-Ireland series attendance bumps in 2017, which increased revenue by €5million to €65m, writes John Fogarty.
Total gate receipts reached €34.456m, almost €5m more than 2016 – €16.5m in the football championship (€15m in 2016) and €10.7m in the hurling championship, €8.5m two years ago. Gate receipts represented 52% of the GAA’s total revenue.
Mayo’s run from the qualifiers and quarter-final and semi-final replays against Roscommon and Kerry respectively contributed to the increase in football as well as the admission increase for All-Ireland quarter and semi-finals in both codes.
The increase in the hurling championship was attributed to the separate All-Ireland quarter-finals in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the resurgence of Cork and Wexford.
Total non-provincial All-Ireland championship attendances jumped by 24% (786,242 to 977,523), an average of 21,723 compared to 17,472 in 2016. The average crowd for an All-Ireland series hurling game was again larger than the equivalent in football. Showing an increase of 29%, the average crowd in hurling was 29,075 last season from 22,456 the year before compared to 19,049 in football, which was 15,660 in 2016.
The Allianz Leagues brought in €5.2m in total, up €500,000 from 2016. The football competition contributed €3.2m (€2.8 in ’16) and the hurling league €2m (€1.9m in ’16).
As part of the GAA-GPA agreement signed in 2016, inter-county players last year enjoyed increased mileage – 50 cents to 62.5c per mile – as well as vouched nutrition expenses. Almost €1m (€979,180) was handed over to county boards in making up the difference in the new mileage rate while €873,239 was provided for nutrition. Player welfare was €6m in total.
Sponsorship was down almost €500,000 from 2016, coming in at €5,257,111. Commercial revenue comprised 29% of total revenue. The GAA received €4.44m in state funding last year compared to €3.67m in 2016.