Stand and terrace ticket prices for the All-Ireland football quarter-finals as well as both football and hurling semi-finals have all increased by €5 — but the GAA have confirmed admission for the finals will remain frozen.
The jump is the first for any All-Ireland series games since 2011 and likely would have been felt for last weekend’s hurling quarter-finals in Páirc Uí Chaoimh but for the two games being split over Saturday and Sunday.
It means those attending the football quarter-final double-header this Sunday and the following Saturday will pay €35 for a stand ticket and €25 for Hill 16.
For Sunday week’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final between Galway and Tipperary and the other last-four game involving Cork and Waterford seven days later, stand tickets are priced at €45 and terrace admission is €30.
“The changes relate to stand and terrace tickets,” said GAA director of communications Alan Milton, “but the group discount and for kids remain the same. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the first time (prices have increased) since 2011. We did a review at the start of the year, as we do every year, and we are very slow to change ticket prices but we made a judgement call on value for money and we think it still offers value money given the quality of games on view.
“We all know where the money goes back to. It’s just about being savvy about it but it’s not something we do in a kneejerk fashion. If you stretch back to 2011 that gap backs that up.”
The extra €5 for the quarter-finals represents a 14.28% hike for the Hogan, Cusack, and Davin Stands and 20% for Hill 16; for the semi-finals it’s a 12.5% rise for the stands and 16.6% for the terrace.
However, Milton confirmed there would be no change in the admission fees for All-Ireland finals, which were last bumped up six years ago. They remain at €80 for the stands and €40 for terrace having been €70 and €30 respectively prior to 2011.
Despite there being only one replay across both senior championships this summer — the Westmeath-Offaly Leinster quarter-final — the GAA are expected to enjoy a large jump in attendances due to a number of factors such as the advances of Cork and Wexford’s hurlers, the re-opening of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Kildare’s footballers reaching a first provincial final since 2009, Kilkenny and Mayo featuring in the qualifiers and a Kerry-Cork Munster SFC decider.
Last year, a stand ticket for the Galway-Clare and Waterford-Wexford All-Ireland SHC quarter-final double-header was €35 compared to the €30 that was asked for each of the Tipperary-Clare and Waterford-Wexford matches this past weekend.
Interestingly, a stand ticket for the 1992 All-Ireland finals cost £13, the equivalent of €26.32 now considering conversion to euro and inflation. In 1998, such admission for the All-Ireland semi-final was priced at £18, which would translate to €32.80 today.
In 2004, an All-Ireland final stand ticket cost €60, €69.05 now. The reconstruction of Croke Park and the GAA’s capital initiatives would also have to be factored into those figures.
Stand admission for all the major provincial finals this year ranged from €20 (club/county board group scheme) to €40. In keeping with a policy the GAA introduced a few years ago, those who purchased in advance of the day of the game were able to avail of a €5 discount.
A crowd of over 60,000 is expected to attend Sunday week’s Galway-Tipperary All-Ireland SHC semi-final, the corresponding fixture between the teams drawing over 58,000 people to Croke Park in both 2015 and ’16. The attendance for the following weekend’s Cork-Waterford clash could rival the 68,728 number that paid in to see Cork’s last semi-final appearance in 2014 when they faced Tipperary.
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