GAA warn season ticket holders over abuse of loyalty system

Supporters buy tickets before the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 1 match between Cork and Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

The GAA’s Ticket Office have warned season ticket holders they will have their accounts revoked if they abuse the loyalty system, writes John Fogarty.

The association’s department this morning contacted season ticket holders to inform them that county boards have been given a directive to note the account numbers that have been used in illegitimate behaviour such as an adult gaining access on a juvenile pass.

The ticket office have also instructed units be vigilant about those supporters who turn up with more than one season ticket so that attendances can be recorded for ticket access later in the year.

The email reads: “With the 2017 Allianz Leagues having commenced in both codes the GAA Ticket Office would like to draw attention to some issues that have been witnessed by the GAA Ticket Office staff and also have brought to our attention over the opening two weekends.

“The presentation of multiple season tickets cards or tickets for scanning at turnstiles in order to falsify attendance records for non-attending Season Ticket holders is strictly prohibited.

“Adults will not be permitted entry to a fixture using a Juvenile (U16) GAA Season Ticket card at Match Days venues.

“Similarly, GAA Season Ticket holders are not permitted to enter a ground using a Season Ticket card and then exit a ground in order to try and re-enter using a different GAA Season Ticket card.

“We have witnessed such incidents and have also been informed by County Boards, and by fellow Season Ticket holders that these types of incidents have occurred at multiple venues over the past two weekends.

“The above practices completely undermine the entire Season Ticket product and also undermine the GAA Season Ticket Holders who have travelled, some of them huge distances, to attend a particular fixture.

“We have issued a directive to all County Boards to note the details of any Season Ticket cards which are abused in this manner. If a GAA Season Ticket card within an account is found to be used in any of the aforementioned ways, we will have no option but to cancel all Season Tickets within that account.”

A season ticket entitles a fan to attend all Allianz League games in their code as well as the county’s first championship fixture and the All-Ireland senior club finals. However, they must attend 60% of their county’s games to qualify to purchase a ticket should they reach an All-Ireland senior final. For example, Dublin’s season ticket holders would have had to attend eight of Dublin’s 14 league and championship games prior to last year’s All-Ireland final.

A number of season ticket holders have reacted to the email with anger. Mayo supporter Anne-Marie Flynn tweeted: “No-one but @officialgaa would have the gall to address their most loyal customers with an email like season ticket holders just received.”

Issues with scanning season ticket cards have been cited by supporters in the past.

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