Tracey Kennedy defends price hike for Cork county final

Denis Hurley

Cork County Board chairperson Tracey Kennedy had defended the decision to increase ticket prices for this afternoon's SHC and IHC finals at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Patrons paying at the gate are being charged €25 for adult tickets – up €5 from last year – with students and OAPs €20 and juveniles free. Kennedy pointed out that it had been possible to purchase tickets online for €22 prior to the final as well as the fact that the county hadn’t had an increase since 2006.

“Croke Park issued a directive that €20 has to be the minimum price anyway,” she said.

“That’s the base starting point for every county and we hadn’t increased our ticket prices in 12 years, which is a pretty long time without an increase. As well, it’s important to point out that tickets were available online for €22 until midnight on Saturday night.

“All of these factors were the things that fed into the decision being taken. I’m a small bit disappointed that people might think our county finals weren’t worth €25.

I can understand, when there’s a price increase, people aren’t often happy about it but you’re talking about two very high-quality games and the brilliant facilities we have here.

“All of that has to be taken into account when setting prices.”

Last year, a crowd of 16,226 witnessed a senior final double-bill as the Nemo Rangers-St Finbarr’s football replay preceded the Imokilly-Blackrock clash. Kennedy admitted that matching that was always unlikely but also made the point that it couldn’t be automatically taken to be down to the pricing.

“At this point, we’ve no evidence to say that there will be a lesser crowd,” she said.

“Last year’s crowd was a record crowd but that was a special occasion in that it was the official opening of the stadium and we had two senior finals.

“We weren’t anticipating having that size of a crowd anyway but really, until we see the crowd figures for today, it’s hard to make a judgement on that anyway.

“Without actual evidence that the crowd is smaller, how do we know that that’s because of ticket prices? There are all kinds of factors, for example a divisional team like Imokilly doesn’t have the same kind of support than if there were two club teams.

“There are a huge number of factors that can influence the crowd and I have no evidence at this stage that people have stayed away because of the ticket prices.”

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