Bumper year rakes in €8.6m as crowds rise across the country
THE GAA in Leinster, Munster and Connacht yielded a combined total of €8.6m in gate receipts last year, an overall increase of 11pc on 2012.
Leinster was down €24,000, a tiny decrease against the massive haul of almost €4.2m. However, Munster and Connacht showed significant increases on 2012. Munster was up by €600,000 to €3.4m, while Connacht broke the €1m barrier, having accumulated €718,000 in the previous year.
Connacht's coffers were boosted by a €38,000 take from the Leitrim v London football semi-final replay but, even without that, the return would have been up considerably on the previous year.
Munster's surge was greatly helped by the additional revenue earned from the Cork-Kerry Munster football final (they met in the semi-final in 2012) and from the massive interest in the Limerick-Cork hurling final.
Gate receipts at the Cork-Kerry football final were up by €507,000 on the return from the Cork-Clare final in 2012.
Attendances at the Munster games were up by 5.4pc last year, led by the senior football championship, which increased by almost 25pc. Hurling increased by 6.6pc, helped enormously by a crowd of 42,730 at the Limerick-Cork final, compared with 26,000 at the Tipperary-Waterford decider in 2012.
The Dublin v Meath SFC final was Leinster's big money-spinner, bringing in total gate receipts of €1.04m. The football semi-finals (Dublin v Kildare and Meath v Wexford) earned €875,000. The Dublin-Galway SHC final grossed €582,000. Leinster's total income across all activities was €8.3m last year with expenditure running at €7.8m.
Games development and match expenses, including renting Croke Park, were the biggest costs, totalling €5.6m.
Munster took in a total of €6.8m, while Connacht's yield was €2.9m. The Ulster Council will issue their annual report for 2013 later this week.