Kilkenny hit the jackpot when they qualified for what will be a money spinning Allianz National Hurling League final against great rivals, Tipperary.
The Semple Stadium, Thurles shoot-out on Sunday week is sure to be a massive attraction, and the financial spin-off for both counties could be huge.
The finalists get the lion’s share of the pooled money from the League, which is the finance generating competition each season for counties.
Kilkenny’s win in the League last season left them the biggest earner in the competition with net returns of €129,948.
The previous year they did even better, when their League take was a cool €142,457.
And with strong numbers attending matches since the competition began in February, the cool Cats can expect a windfall in excess of €120,000 again this season.
Because they have been doing so well in the League since Brian Cody took over as manager, and this is the county’s 10th final under his command, Kilkenny have been the biggest earners by far in the hurling competition over the past decade.
The returns have exceed the million euro mark, which highlights the value of doing well in what is generally classed as the secondary competition on the GAA calendar.
While doing well and winning in the championship generally costs a County Board a lot of money, the opposite is the case in the League, where winning performances are rewarded financially.
“The hurlers have been serving Kilkenny well in more ways than one,” insisted County Board chairman, Ned Quinn, after the ticket into another final was secured. “This is the 10th League final during Brian Cody’s reign, which is remarkable,” he added. “It is all down to the players, Brian Cody and his team of officials and backroom staff. The will to get things right and to carry on winning is amazing.”
Kilkenny will be chasing a hat trick of wins in the upcoming League final. They beat Tipperary in the decider in Nowlan Park last year, and Cork the previous season.
With extensive repairs needed on the old stand at Nowlan Park following storm damage, and the Dunmore Complex coming on stream, good League returns would ease the burden on the ’Board.