Thursday 27 July 2017

Cork's Páirc Uí Chaoimh financial hit - Missed deadline set to cost €250k

Hosting both Munster deciders would have netted county up to €250k in gate receipts

Making a mid-June deadline was always an ambitious target but Cork now hope that the stadium will be ready to host games by mid-July. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Making a mid-June deadline was always an ambitious target but Cork now hope that the stadium will be ready to host games by mid-July. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The Cork County Board is counting the financial cost of missing the June 18 deadline for the handover of Páirc Uí Chaoimh due to the potential loss of both Munster finals.

The novelty of a Cork-Kerry Munster final being the first game at the revamped stadium could have driven the crowd close to its 45,000 capacity despite the struggles that the Cork footballers currently find themselves in.

And while Clare may have recoiled from playing a Munster final there against Cork, a Waterford-Clare final would almost certainly have been fixed for the Leeside venue and drawn a near-capacity crowd too.

But all that changed with confirmation that the handover would not now be completed until July 7 as further commissioning works must be concluded.

While the general disappointment that the stadium won't now be ready will be obviously greater, the potential loss of around €250,000 in gate receipts will also be felt.

Munster Council hand over 15pc of gate receipts to championship venues which could amount to around €125,000 for a 40,000 crowd - if the loss of €363,446 for a reduction of 14,130 in Munster football final crowds, illustrated in the 2016 accounts, is anything to gauge by.

The Munster football final is virtually certain to head to Killarney for a fourth successive time, following the 2015 final and replay, and the Kingdom's defeat of Tipperary last summer.

Munster Council chairman Jerry O'Sullivan said he expected old arrangements to be adhered to but stressed there had been no confirmation.

Munster Council will confirm the venue for the hurling final after Sunday's semi-final between Cork and Waterford in Thurles, which is the most likely choice.

Making a mid-June deadline was always an ambitious target but Cork now hope that the stadium will be ready to host games by mid-July.

All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals have been hosted as double-headers in Thurles for the last number of years but the pairings would have to be right geographically to be switched to Cork.

"Clearly we are disappointed but we want everything to be pristine before the stadium hosts its first major games. We want to be certain that all the expectations for this tremendous new facility will be fully met and we are satisfied that this will be the case by mid-July," said chairman Ger Lane.

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