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Championship cut-price package deals in pipeline

Cuts in admission prices for the All-Ireland championships up to and including the semi-finals are almost certainly on the way.

Reductions are not expected in single ticket prices for the provincial championships, but a range of extra cut-price package deals for clubs, families and groups will be on offer.

The Irish Independent understands that details of the amended All-Ireland championship prices will be put before the next Central Council meeting, while the provincial councils will shortly finalise plans for their package deals.

Tickets prices for the All-Ireland finals will remain the same. Admission costs to the Allianz League have been reduced this season, so there's a natural logic in extending it to the championships.

It will lead to reduced revenue, but the GAA are hoping that the special package deals for groups and families will minimise the impact of the cuts. Among the changes that Leinster are planning to implement at Croke Park is an equal pricing policy for the Davin Stand and Hill 16.

"Package deals worked well last year and we'll have others in place this year," said Leinster CEO, Michael Delaney.

Leinster's championship income was down almost 14pc to €4.92m last year. But according to Delaney, the results sequence was as much responsible as the recession.

"Kildare footballers lost in the quarter-finals, Dublin went out in the semi-finals, while Wexford hurlers were beaten in the quarter-final. Dublin footballers are always the biggest draw so income is down any year they don't reach the final. Kildare footballers draw big crowds too, while Wexford hurlers get a big following when they're going well. None of that trio got to the Leinster final last year, so income was always going to be down," he said.

Munster's championship income was down was down marginally; Connacht increased by seven per cent, thanks mainly to the replayed Sligo v Galway semi-final, while Ulster showed a slight decrease.

Ulster Council President Aogan Farrell said their figures had been boosted by big attendances at their club football championships. He also noted that while the yield from stand tickets held up well for the inter-county championships, there had had been a drop in the terrace turn-out.

Irish Independent