Less than 14,000 paying customers attended the first round of Allianz Hurling League Division 1 games over the weekend as it lost out in a battle with the Six Nations.
While the GAA tried hard in marketing these games and reducing ticket prices, fans voted with their feet and stayed at home on both Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon as the second round of Six Nations matches took place. The biggest attendance was at the game between Tipperary and Kilkenny at Semple Stadium. Yet while this was a repeat of this years All Ireland Final only 9,465 attended.
Waterford and Dublin played out a thriller in Walsh Park but just 2,500 paid to watch the game. Pairc Ui Chaoimh was even worse as just 1,406 watched Cork beat Offaly. In Pearse Stadium, a figure of around 600 paid are estimated to have seen Galway hammer Wexford.
These figures are certain to disappoint GAA officials who have put innovative ticketing deals in place and have had a sustained media campaign in the weeks leading up to the opening weekend. The reduction in admission prices from €15 to €13 looks like it has not had an impact either.
The three Sunday fixtures clashed with Ireland’s Six Nations match against France. TG4 also showed delayed coverage of Galway v Wexford and deferred coverage of Waterford v Dublin. Weather was also a factor, especially for those who might have stayed away from Semple Stadium.