Over €9m in gate receipts is on the line for the Munster Council and its six counties due to the coronavirus pandemic.
More than €5m was taken in by the Provincial Council as a result of championship gate receipts last year.
However, that was not expected to improve considerably this season as Cork and Kerry had been drawn in a senior football semi-final on May 24.
It was anticipated that the golden goose that is the senior hurling championship would again provide a rich reward with the successful round-robin structure bringing in over €4m for the second successive season last year.
With the chances of that format taking place this summer looking slimmer by the day, the Munster Council, who earn more than any of the other three provinces via gate receipts, are bracing themselves for the impact with considerably fewer grants set to be distributed in 2021.
Combined, the councils took in over €13m in 2019 gate receipts, which is additional to the close to €29m the GAA accrued in All-Ireland series games.
For a start, returning to a knock-out system in the hurling championship would see the number of games in the competition drop from 11 to four. In such an event, the demand for tickets would be exceptionally high but capacity restrictions in light of the crisis would be expected.
The last time the hurling championship was knock-out and Cork and Kerry did not face off in the football decider was in 2016 when gate receipts were a disappointing €3.187m.
Munster counties also have close to a combined €4m riding on their own championship gate receipts not being impacted by the emergency.
Cork’s match admission revenue dropped by close to €200,000 last year but it remains the most impressive in the province followed by Limerick.
Tipperary’s gate receipts fell by 12% to below €500,000 last season but their figures did not include the county finals, which may have offset some of their €370,000 deficit for the financial year.
Cork were a distant second to Galway in the country-wide gate receipts list last year.
Galway passed the €1m mark in 2019, a figure that remarkably stood at just over €600,000 three years previous.
With €125,622, Dublin recorded one of the lowest figures but their numbers don’t account for their heavily-subscribed season tickets/Parnell Pass loyalty scheme.
It is understood counties will soon receive a portion of their season ticket monies from Croke Park.
ALL WE HAVE IS MATCHES
Last week, GAA director general Tom Ryan revealed what is exactly on the line for the GAA at central level. “Central Council-wise, there’s probably about €60m at risk. All we have is matches. That’s all we have.” How did he come to that number? There is the €29m that might have been expected to come in from the All-Ireland championships (excluding provincial games) this year. Sponsorship and media rights provided over €20m in 2019 while over €33m was taken in through box and premium seating and catering most in Croke Park. Another million or two might have been gleaned from the closing stages of the Allianz Leagues. Factor in what has already been made from the league this year and the savings from cost of sales and indirect costs and you can see how he arrived at the figure. However, another €24m is on the line for provinces and counties with gate receipts for the four provinces in 2019 surpassing the €13m and counties taking in close to €11m.