Thursday 19 January 2017

View from the grass roots

Hamish Adams

Published 16/09/2010 | 05:00

(Player Services Adviser for IRUPA)

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What do you think of the ticket prices for the November internationals?

"It's disappointing, especially in the economic climate, that the prices have increased by that much because certainly the players' salaries haven't been increasing by that amount. I'm a New Zealander and I'll go to the All Blacks game, that's the only one I'll go to, but I don't know if I'll be able to pay for the wife."

What affect do you see these prices having at grassroots level?

"It's a business and it's supply and demand. It will be interesting to see how many people will attend. That will be the ultimate test of their pricing. The All Blacks and South Africa games will probably be sell-outs, but I can't see people travelling to see Samoa or Argentina on a Sunday, which makes it even less attractive. And if people are being put off going to watch the international side, the effects could trickle all the way down."

What do you think would be a fair pricing policy?

"Even the prices at Croke Park, when you could get a ticket for around €70, would have been seen as fairly expensive, but I think leaving it at the Croke Park level would have been fair."

DON BUCKLEY

(Coach of Junior team at PBC, Cork)

What do you think of the ticket prices for the November internationals?

"It's outrageous. I mean, think of the a guy who wants to bring his kid to the All Blacks game, it's going to cost him €190 straight up for the two-match package. Then it's €40 for the kid and chances are, as it is in PBC, there's a lot of brothers and you can't bring one and not the other. That's before you put your hand in your pocket for petrol and food and drink."

What affect do you see these prices having at grassroots level?

"I know the capacity was more in Croke Park, but the autumn internationals last year were €70, now they're gone from €70 to €100 in the middle of a recession. That's crazy stuff. They have to recoup their costs and they only have 50,000 seats now, so they put the price up to €100 knowing that they will fill it for Six Nations games, whatever about autumn internationals. Myself and three of my mates, all lifelong rugby men still involved in the game, won tickets to the Samoa game in a golf classic recently and none of us have any interest in going, and that's without having to pay €50. But these prices will stop parents bringing their kids to the matches and that's got to have an effect down the line."

What do you think would be a fair pricing policy?

"For a game like Samoa, kids should be charged no more than €10 and not much more for the bigger ones."

ANDREW McNAMARA

(PRO, Shannon RFC)

What do you think of the ticket prices for the November internationals?

"It's way too much. You are prohibiting a lot of people from travelling, to bring kids and then there's the frequency of the internationals. I suppose they have to generate income but who's going to travel four times in a month from Limerick or Cork or Waterford and spend that amount of money?"

What affect do you see these prices having at grassroots level?

"We (Shannon) will have problems shifting these tickets and if we don't that's a financial hit for us, the IRFU are happy enough to flout the tickets as being sold but I think we are going to see in November that the Aviva is not being sold out. Basically, we feel we have become a ticket-distribution outlet for the IRFU whereas before it was part and parcel of how the game was run -- we got the tickets and there was a demand for them. I don't think the IRFU take too much cognisance of the effect this has on the clubs, especially outside Dublin."

What do you think would be a fair pricing policy?

"I think around €70, which was the Croke Park level, is probably fair enough. But look, the IRFU have a job to do running professional rugby and it is up to them to charge what they want but we will have a problem disposing of our ticket allocation for the autumn internationals."

JOHN COOKE

(Committee member at Connacht Junior club Monivea RFC)

What do you think of the ticket prices for the November internationals?

"They've lost the run of themselves because it's not just the price of the tickets, it's the burger and the pint and everything else that goes with travelling to Dublin for a match. It's just gone bananas. There's not many can afford that these days and €40 quid for a schoolboy ticket is madness, I remember not that long ago getting sent schoolboy tickets for €5."

What affect do you see these prices having at grassroots level?

"The regular guy will be left out because he will be priced out of the market. The guy on 60 grand a year can afford that lifestyle but the ordinary guy can't. I mean look at our club, there's guys desperate for work, labourers, tradesmen, who can't find anything. The pub trade is our village is nearly gone because no one can afford to go out, and it's not just Monivea. Look, it may be fine for the better-off rugby follower, and maybe that's who it's aimed at, but there won't be many from Monivea heading across in November."

What do you think would be a fair pricing policy?

"A price that recognises the situation this economy is in and the cost of travelling from outside Dublin.There needs to be a bit of realism."

Irish Independent

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