Saturday 22 September 2018

FAI to launch new scheme for tickets at internationals

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Not only have the FAI culled premium ticket prices, they've also reduced the number of seats available in their new scheme.

Under the original Vantage Club initiative, the association allocated the entire middle tier circling the stadium, pitching the 10,000 'wide-padded' seats to 'high net-worth' individuals.

Under the new scheme, a 10-year seat that cost €32,000 in the previous arrangement will now be available for just €5,000 and will be located in central sections of the east and west stands.

Aside from the 10-year commitment, there is also options to purchase a seat on a five-year basis at €3,000 and for three years for €2,000.

The debut scheme, unveiled for the rebuilt stadium opening in 2010, offered halfway line seats for €32,000, sideline versions at €24,000, corner seats for €19,000 and the cheapest behind the goal at €12,000.

The FAI have so far declined to reveal how many of the 10,000 seats will be pitched to the market.

Struggle

Filling the spanking new arena has been a struggle, triggering an era of knockdown prices starting at €120 per year.

Even if the FAI repeat what they claim were 16,000 season-ticket sales last season, it would gross them just €2.5m based on the average price.

Hence the importance of sharing UEFA's largesse, with increased prize-money of €9.25m on offer for reaching the Euros 2020.

Martin O'Neill's team will have two avenues available to achieve that goal this time, firstly through the UEFA Nations League starting next month and then the regulation qualifiers from next March.

UEFA vice-president Fernando Gomes confirmed at the association's AGM on Saturday that the 'Hat-Trick' grant will increase to €14m from 2020.

That funding, issued every four years, has been used by the FAI to deduct €6.5m off their total of €74m in stadium costs.

Denis O'Brien's contribution to the game was recognised at the AGM, which approved his appointment as honorary life president.

Chief executive John Delaney told delegates that the businessman had shelled out €12.5m over a decade to subsidise the salaries of Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli, and then O'Neill and Roy Keane.

Donal Conway took over as president for a four-year period, replacing the outgoing Tony Fitzgerald. Noel Fitzroy is the new vice-president.

Registration for volunteering to assist at next year's UEFA U-17 Championships Finals and Euro 2020 has opened at

http://www.fai.ie/domestic/volunteers

Irish Independent

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