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Council set out to retain the big crowds

The Ulster Council have revealed that they intend to continue with their revised pricing system for the forthcoming Ulster club Championship campaigns.

Attendance figures released for the overall Ulster Championship this season made for impressive reading. A total of 124,884 supporters went through the gates to watch Championship action from May to July. That figure was up by 15,000 from the 2011 season; a 13% increase.

An almost capacity crowd at the Ulster final of 34,696 was the largest attendance for the last three years, bucking the trend of diminishing attendances and demand for sporting occasions with disposable income decimated in times of recession. It followed an altogether bumper season of attendances.

The Power NI Dr McKenna Cup reported an increase of approximately 20%, no doubt boosted by the 7,000 Tyrone hardy souls who turned at Omagh to see the return of their favourite son Peter Canavan when he returned as Fermanagh manager.

In the Ulster Under-21 Championship, moving the fixtures to floodlit midweek occasions proved very popular. The increase in attendance is roughly 15%.

Aoghan Farrell, President of Ulster GAA said: “Following a review of the 2011 Ulster GAA Championship, we conducted focus groups and workshops with GAA members and supporters in addition to the members of the media. This provided feedback and highlighted areas that we had to address ranging from access to tickets to admission prices.”

He continued: “A complete review of admission prices saw a reduction for all competitions, retaining the Under 16 free admission policy and the introduction of the successful Power NI Dr. McKenna Cup Season Ticket.”

Belfast Telegraph