LOCAL GAA supporters are up in arms after the latest increase in price for a 10-year Croke Park term ticket.
In 2004 the price for Noel McCaffrey’s ten year seat was €2,500, but now that price has sky-rocketed to €3,500, much to his dismay.
The ten year ticket guarantees a seat at the All Ireland football and hurling finals over the period, but local supporters say it is too much to pay in times of austerity.
The new price means that each match now costs a hefty €175 rather than the previous €125.
Lisnaskea Emmetts club man Noel from Lisnaskea, told the Herald he would not be renewing his ticket as he simply could not afford it.
“Peter Quinn introduced me to it. It started at €1250 and then in 2004 it went up to €2,500 and now it is €3,500 per seat for maybe 20 games. I rang Mr Quinn about it, but he told me he is no longer a welcome guest about Croke Park.
“I don’t use it now, but my son does. It is an awful rise isn’t it. Speaking to a lot of other boys in town whose term tickets are up for renewal and they agree. You are talking about the age of austerity yet these tickets have gone up massively in price.
“I have been speaking to the people around town and they can’t afford it. It is no longer a working man’s pastime. You look at the Monaghan Armagh game there at Clones and the empty seats. Five years ago and they would have packed the place out. They’re killing the GAA.”
St Pat’s GFC, Donagh members Paul O’Reilly and his brother Johnny are two others who will not be renewing their tickets.
“No ordinary man could afford it,” explained Paul. “They’re pricing the ordinary person out of it and pricing people out of the big games.”
He continued: “It is a big problem in the GAA; they’re not thinking of the wee boy in Fermanagh and money seems to be taking over, especially when you see they’re selling off to Sky. They’re forgetting the wee man who set them up in the first place.”
Next year will be first time in over 20 years that Paul will not be guaranteed his seat at the All-Ireland final and he admits it is unlikely he will be able to secure a ticket, such is the demand.
“I will definitely enjoy it this year, as it is unlikely next year I will get, I wouldn’t pay that money.”
GAA Head of Media Relations Alan Milton confirmed the price increase.
He told the Herald that the money made from these tickets previously had gone to capital building projects and helped go towards work in the Hogan and Cusack stands.
“There’s a premium for the luxury,” Mr Milton explained.
“I still believe it represents value for money and it guarantees the replay, which as we have seen happen in recent years in the Hurling. Put it this way there’s an 100% take-up and there’s a waiting list. These are the biggest days in our calender and there is obviously a premium for the one-off fixture.”
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