Galway GAA banking on Ed Sheeran concerts at Pearse Stadium to boost coffers

Pearse Stadium

GALWAY GAA is to sell the land at Mountain South, Athenry in 2018 in order to alleviate the substantial debt resulting from the initial purchase of the property.

In his report on the year just past – to be delivered at the County Convention in the Lough Rea Hotel next Monday – Secretary John Hynes will outline that with the current infrastructure debt standing at €3.1 million – and the annual repayments of these loans amounting to €265,000 in 2017 – the board must reduce their capital investment.

“To avoid an unsustainable increase in our loan repayments in 2018, we plan to sell the property at Mountain South and use the sale proceeds to reduce our debts and repayments. The reduction of our capital debt is one of our top priorities and one of the biggest challenges we are facing,” said Hynes.

There is no doubt the ill-fated project at Mountain South has been a millstone around Galway GAA’s neck but Hynes has vowed that the Management Committee “will continue to make every effort to improve our financial performance in the forthcoming year in partnership with our clubs, our various sub-committees and the Tribesmen Supporters Club”.

Indeed, in his report, Hynes lauded the sponsorship they receive from Supermac’s, the contribution from Galway GAA Supporters Club (Tribesmen GAA) – which raised €286,000 in 2017 – and the County Fundraising Car Draw (€212,000) as crucial in tackling Galway GAA’s financial challenges.

He also expected the two Ed Sheeran concerts in Pearse Stadium on May 12th and 13th next year to yield a significant boost to their commercial income, highlighting that, for the first time, Pearse Stadium should be a net contributor to the county finances.

Due to the impact of the substantial debt they have been lumbered with from Mountain South though, Hynes has informed that, other than new dressing rooms planned for Tuam Stadium, “there are no new capital developments planned or budgeted for in any of our county grounds in 2018”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.