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Cash-strapped FAI lower ticket prices

Association announces that tickets will be reduced by up to 25% for the remainder of 2011.

FOLLOWING A SERIES of disappointing attendance figures, the FAI announced today that they will be reducing the prices of all tickets for Ireland’s remaining home fixtures this year.

Since the opening of the Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road in August of last year, the FAI have not managed to sell the full allocation of 51,700 tickets for a single game.

Although high-profile visitors such as Russia and Argentina attracted crowds in the region of 50,000 spectators, empty seats have been far more noticeable in some lesser games. Fewer than 20,000 people attended the recent Carling Nations Cup opener against Wales at the start of the month.

In an attempt to boost sales, the Association announced today that a reduction of up to 25% would apply to all tickets. For competitive fixtures, lower-tier tickets have been reduced from €70 to €60 while upper-tier tickets have also been lowered by €10, from €50 to €40.

For friendly games, lower-tier tickets have been reduced from €55 to €45, while upper-tier tickets have dropped from €40 to €30.

Financial woes

Last September, the Irish Independent reported that the FAI had failed to sell over half of the 10,000 premium-level tickets available in the recently-opened Aviva Stadium.

At the time, the Association moved quickly to refute this report, stating instead that over 6,300 of the tickets had been sold to that point. They also denied that they were still waiting for some outstanding 10-year ticket holders to pay the balances owed for tickets bought in 2004 and 2006.

In close consultation with its banking partners, the FAI has put in place detailed business plans that will see it debt free by 2020, while continuing to fund the development and growth of the sport at grassroots.

However, the extent to which the Association is feeling the financial pinch was underlined in November when 14 staff were made redundant and pay cuts of up to 5% were earmarked for others.

Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni also “took one for the team” back in early December, reportedly accepting a wage reduction in the region of €100,000.

Will these reduced ticket prices encourage you to go to a match in the Aviva Stadium this year?

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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