IRISH rugby chiefs look set to benefit almost immediately from the new Aviva Stadium, as they have only €6m left to pay on their share of the stadium cost.
The IRFU’s annual report shows they are on track to pay off their debts well ahead of 2020, the agreed date. The union’s existing cash balance and advance seat sales have put a huge hole in their part of the stadium bill, which came to €104m.
The stadium was delivered on time in April for €411m, of which the Government provided €191m. Aviva rowed in with €45m for the naming rights.
That left the IRFU having to pay €104m and the FAI €71m. The union will have paydays in 2013 when 3,700 seats will be available for resale, and in 2015, when another 1,300 will become vacant. The potential haul from that combined sale is €74.5m.
However, the IRFU honorary treasurer Tom Grace warned that the future depended on rugby maintaining its high income from TV rights. Ticket prices in the new Aviva will be modelled on the most expensive seats sold while the IRFU was in Croke Park; €90 is likely to be the starting point.
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