Saturday 23 February 2019

'Do people want the GAA to give them money at the gate?' - Dick Clerkin defends hike in ticket prices

Dick Clerkin
Dick Clerkin
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Monaghan midfielder Dick Clerkin has defended the GAA's decision to up the price of tickets for the 2019 season and said the sport is offering great value for money.

GAA president John Horan confirmed the price hikes yesterday claiming that the economic situation in the country and the popularity of gaelic games meant it was the right time to make the increase.

He also confirmed that the introduction of the new Super 8s structure had not led to any increase in gate receipts.

Horan also said that they decided to increase prices by €5 because a smaller rise would 'cause chaos'

The GAA trialled five new rules in their pre-season gaelic football competitions as they try to make the game more of a spectacle for spectators with four being brought forward into the league.

An apathy towards the game is being blamed by many for falling attendances and many observers feel that the rise in price will turn more fans away.

Clerkin caused a stir on Twitter last week after saying that anyone complaining about a rise in GAA ticket prices can 'jog on'.

Speaking on Off The Ball AM this morning, Clerkin said that the GAA is providing much better value for money than other sports.

"I'm going to Dublin and Monaghan on Sunday," Clerkin told Off The Ball AM.

"It cost me €15, I've the ticket in my hand [and] I'm taking my two boys for free.

"That's unbelievable value, by any metric.

"I don't care what you compare it to: sport, going to the cinema, if I take them to the swimming pool, it's going to cost me that.

"It's great value.

"There hasn't been a price increase since 2011, I just can't understand. It's free to bring your children.

"Do people want the GAA to give them money at the gate? Would that make them happy?

"These conversations rise me so much because they lose all perspective.

"Just because the players aren't paid, doesn't mean the value of the product isn't there.

"It's down to basic economics. I want to give my money to be entertained, that's why a lot of us go.

"If you want to go and watch Liverpool or Manchester United, you've no choice but to empty your pockets to bring your child. If they want to go watch Ireland play the All Blacks, you've no choice but to fork out, and that's alright?

"The GAA haven't gone down that route ... they're not looking to bleed supporters."

Clerkin dismissed the argument that it was wrong that parents would be asked to pay the full price of an All-Ireland final ticket to bring their kids.

"With all due respect, an 8-year-old has no business at an All-Ireland final for €90," Clerkin said.

"I was never at an All-Ireland final when I was an 8-year-old.

"If I want to bring [my kids], and pay €80 or €90, that's my decision.

"If you accept the logic [of paying these prices] for pro-games, how do you not accept accept the same logic for the GAA?"

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