Furious fans' group up ante in protest over Croker ticket hike
THE GAA could lose as many as 1,000 long-term Croke Park seat holders at a patrons meeting in Dublin tonight.
The supporters group, who say they represent 1,000 of around 2,200 long-term seats that are up for renewal this year, could decide not to renew their tickets in protest at the price hike of the 10-year seats from IR£6,000 (€7,600) in 2000 to €12,000.
The group have lobbied Croke Park for price reductions on tickets and received what they called a "minor concession" on the price of three-year seats, which were reduced from €5,000 to €4,000. However, according to one of the organisers, Michael Hickey, that has done little to appease his group, who meet in the Croke Park Hotel at 8.0 this evening.
"We feel that at normal inflation rates the prices should come in at around €8,500, so €12,000 is a lot to ask people in this climate," said Hickey, who himself has a number of seats up for renewal.
"If we vote by majority not to renew, I'd expect almost everyone to stick to that."
"We have had a couple of meetings with Croke Park and more among ourselves, but we know we represent around 1,000 seats and I would say the majority of those are 10-year seats. I know two people who have renewed their 10-year seats at the current price and they are disgusted."
The original deadline for renewing tickets was set for July 31, but was pushed back to this Friday.
As it stands, 10-year seats are available for €12,000 up front or in three instalments which would cost an extra €1,200. Despite the price hike, the GAA's pricing compares favourably with FAI ticketing plans, which are priced between €12,000 and €32,000, while a similar deal with the IRFU falls in at around €15,000 at the new Aviva Stadium.
Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna could not be reached for comment last night.