Gate revenues drop by €900k as Dublin's chokehold on province hits attendances
Leinster GAA sustained a 21 per cent drop in gate receipts as Dublin's chokehold on the football championship tightened once again.
The province's take on the turnstiles for the same programme of matches as 2015 fell from €4.34m in 2015 to €3.41m last year. It follows a €1.6m hit for Munster in 2016 which was revealed in their accounts last week. But unlike Munster, who had the loss of a second Kerry-Cork Munster final to factor in, Leinster have no such year-to-year replay disparity.
The absence of Kildare and Meath in a Leinster final with Dublin hit hard again with just €706,327 taken in for the July decider between the All-Ireland champions and Westmeath, the pairing for the second successive year.
Leinster were also somewhat unfortunate with their scheduling as their football semi-finals, Dublin/Meath and Kildare/Westmeath, were fixed for the same afternoon as the Ireland/France Euro '16 match.
Leinster pushed those matches back to the evening but the gate was still considerably down on what it would have been expected to be.
Playing Dublin's opening match of the championship in Nowlan Park may also have been a factor though not as significant when the drop in rental of Croke Park is factored in. The three games involving the Dublin footballers in Leinster yielded €1.62m for the provincial council.
Critically, despite the fall in gate revenue, Leinster were still able to increase their spend on coaching and games development with almost €4.9m spent, up from €4.5m in 2015.
Much of this increase relates to an additional €230,000 in grants from Central Council, part of which has been designated for the east Leinster project that will see an additional €1.5m spent on programmes in the commuter belts of Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow over the next three years.