Difficult and trying financial times these may be, but Kilkenny GAA continues to buck the trend and produce strong accounts.
For the best part of a decade the County Board has been producing a healthy surplus yearly, and delegates at annual Convention in the O’Loughlin Gaels centre on Monday night will ratify another strong set of figures.
The annual accounts will show a surplus in the region of €270,000 after the ’Board enjoyed another bumper year.
The healthy state of affairs was helped considerably by victory in the National Hurling League and by good returns from the two near sold out Bruce Springsteen concerts in Nowlan Park, which combined netted over €220,000, sources suggest.
Two bumper home matches against big crowd pullers, Tipperary swelled returns. The first clash attracted a near capacity crowd to the League final, and later in the summer the counties met in the All-Ireland Qualifiers at the ’Park when the ‘house full sings’ went up well before throw-in.
With a 10% rental rate for the grounds operating for the League final, and a 20% standing charge for the Qualifiers - but the ’Board must meet all match expenses in this case - what were strong and unexpected returns contributed significantly to the good state of affairs.
Those two matches, plus the Springsteen weekend concerts, also provided a big windfall for local businesses as sport and music fans converged on the city in their tens of thousands.
Delegates will be told that gate receipts from local championships increased too, helping to produced a “very positive financial situation” for Kilkenny we were told.
While the mainline surplus figures is impressive, it is not the complete figure as there are still oustanding bills for the year, and there is a on-going €10,000 per month commitment on the loan for the redevelopment of Nowlan Park.
The ’Board also has a financial commitment to the development of the all weather sports centre at Dunmore. However, that is being largely financed by Kilkenny’s share of the money from the playing of soccer and rugby in Croke Park while the Aviva Stadium was being developed, and grants from the Lotto, Leinster Council and Croke Park.
In 2012 the County Board returned a net surplus of €293,770, an increased of over €69,000 on the previous year. The National League share in 2012 was €143,457 with gate receipts a strong €162,172.