Monday 16 September 2019

'We'll bring our own sandwiches' - but match tickets cost €450 for family of five

Expense: From left, Fergal, Ciara, Thomas and Conor McLoughlin at Croke Park for the hurling semi-final
Expense: From left, Fergal, Ciara, Thomas and Conor McLoughlin at Croke Park for the hurling semi-final

Evie Kearney

All-Ireland Final day can be a costly experience for parents, with a family of five paying up to €450 for tickets alone.

Fergal and Fiona McLoughlin, from Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, took their three children to the hurling semi-final to watch Tipp beat Wexford, but ticket prices for the final meant it made more sense for just Mr McLoughlin and the older children to make the trip to the final. Mr McLoughlin will be driving to Dublin for tomorrow's Tipp versus Kilkenny showdown with Ciara (15) and Thomas (13) as well as sharing the lift with two of their cousins.

For all other championship games, the GAA offers concession prices for children at a cost of €5 for under 16s, but discount prices do not apply for the final when a stand ticket goes for €90.

This would mean a hike of €85 per child for the McLoughlins for the same seats in Croke Park.

For families wanting to experience the final, terrace tickets are the more sensible option at €45 per head - but there's no guarantee your child will be able to see the pitch.

This factor is one reason why Conor (8) will not be travelling to Dublin for the hurling final.

Once tickets are bought, the cost of match day can quickly add up if you want the full experience, Mr McLoughlin said. "It's a day out. You're looking at €40 for diesel then you buy the programmes for €5 or €10. The Tipperary thing is the sandwiches in the tinfoil so that's the plan for now, but the way things go you always end up stopping for something either way. If you stop for something to eat it's probably nearly €15 a head then inside you've got the crisps and Coke and all that."

Last week, the GAA came under fire after announcing a €10 hike in tickets for the final,

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But Alan Milton, GAA communications manager, said: "I think the ticket prices compare very favourably to other organisations. You could still bring a child here to see a game at the weekend for €5 and it stays that price up until the final."

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