GAA earn €180,000 per day as bonanza year for Croke Park sees crowds and income increase
The GAA's Central Council took in an average of €180,000 per day in 2017, making it a bonanza year which surpassed 2016 by nine per cent.
Total income last year was €65.6 million, an increase of €5.4 million on 2016. Gate receipts were up by €4 million to €34.4 million for the All-Ireland championships and Allianz Leagues.
That tells only part of the success story as the figures do not include provincial councils, who also had a good year. They retain their own funds and publish their own accounts.
The surge in gate receipts resulted from a combination of bigger crowds, a small increase in admission prices for some games and replays in an All-Ireland football semi-final and quarter-final.
Despite a drop in sponsorship income, commercial revenue also increased from €17.9 million to €18.8 million.
That was due mainly to an increase of €1.3 million in media rights, arising from the new broadcasting deal which began its five-year cycle last year.
Croke Park Ltd, the company that looks after the stadium, also showed a revenue increase on 2016, despite hosting fewer concerts.
Stadium director Peter McKenna also announced that 50 acres had been purchased in the Naul, north Dublin for a pitch-farm. It will be used to re-surface Croke Park and, where practical, other GAA grounds.
It's also planned to explore the possibility of going into the export market. The first pitches will be harvested next year.
"It makes us self-reliant. This will give us time and climate advantages on our existing supply chain. It's an exciting development," said McKenna.