The GAA will record increased championship attendances on last year’s figures, irrespective of this Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC final replay.
Excluding replays, the 1.5m mark for the senior football and hurling competitions was surpassed with last Sunday week’s drawn game between Dublin and Kerry, meaning last year’s 1.488m total has been bettered.
Coming in the wake of increased ticket prices for All-Ireland semi-finals, finals and qualifiers announced earlier this year and more Super 8 dead rubbers this time around compared to 2018, it will come as a relief to Croke Park.
Mayo’s extended Championship played a significant part in the rise, in contrast to last season when they exited in the third round of the qualifiers to Kildare.
The nine games involving Mayo this year including the Super 8 double-header in Croke Park, attracting approximately 280,000 supporters.
In 2018, the total figure for their four games was less than 58,000.
Compare that to Dublin’s senior footballers who, irrespective of this Saturday’s replay, have been involved in seven matches (three double-headers) drawing an approximate total number of just over 340,000.
Including the extra Dublin-Kerry game in five days’ time, the GAA are expected to record over 1.6m in total attendances for 2019.
In 2018, gate receipts were down more than €3.5m from the previous year, with the senior championships accounting for €22.9m of what was earned at the turnstiles.
Limerick and Wexford’s provincial hurling successes proved to be good news for the GAA’s coffers, although Wexford did help to curb what could have been a major shortfall in the Leinster SHC following the round-robin stage.
Munster’s numbers were estimated to be 11% up on 2018, at around 32,000. Neither province chose to increase ticket prices in 2019.
Total attendances for the hurling championship is set to come in just under 680,000 — over 40,000 higher than last year.