GAA president John Horan has defended its move to hike ticket prices for the upcoming hurling and Gaelic football leagues and championships.

The Central Council, the GAA governing body, agreed the increases on Saturday.

All Ireland final prices have risen by €10 to €90 ($102/£79) for standing tickets, while Hill 16 tickets have gone up by €5 to €45. Horan said those tickets were still priced “favourably” compared to other major sporting events, the Irish Times reports.

“That was part of the (Central Council) presentation,” said Horan, “and I think we compared favourably to it. We’re offering you a top-end final, and everybody knows the impact of the All-Ireland finals in Irish society and their value. Look, you know how much people want to be there.

“We could put another 30,000 or 40,000 in Croke Park for an All-Ireland final. So in that sense, no, I don’t think we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. Time is going to tell and if the economy keeps on going the way it is, I don’t think it’ll be an issue.

“If the economy takes a downturn, well it may impact on it but look, everyone accused us last year of increasing the number of games that were being played because we were all revenue-driven or whatever but that didn’t happen.”

Horan also noted at the launch of the Allianz Hurling League that these hikes were the first such price increases since 2011.

The upcoming national league will see its prices increase by a third, or 33 per cent, from €15 to €20.

Horan commented on the statement that a price increase might affect attendance: “There is that. But anyone running a business and having a product and you go for a price increase, you’ll always have to take it on board that there’s the law of diminishing returns, that if you up the price, you may diminish your sales.

“There are still opportunities for people to get the cheaper ticket, if they buy it earlier in the week before the match and the season tickets are there so we’re not trying to exclude people from it or anything like that. But it’s eight years since we did a price increase.”

Image: Florian Christoph