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Joe Kernan: GAA's special offers proving just the ticket for Christmas

At this time of the year with the Christmas spending spree in full swing every one of us is invariably in pursuit of a bargain.

And the GAA has certainly come up with one which could make a very acceptable present.

The €75 season ticket for the National Football League and National Hurling League, which also incorporates admission into a first round championship match, provides a very good deal for fans of any county team.

It’s hardly surprising that the offer is being availed of and that the Dublin allocation has been sold out.

The price means that the season ticket package will prove a real winner and will almost guarantee that crowds for league games will be up on last year.

The tickets are being eagerly snapped up as Christmas presents, too, particularly for those die-hard fans who do not confine their attendance at matches to the balmy days of summer.

With the cost of diesel and petrol high and meal expenses considerable, especially south of the border, the €75 price is particularly attractive to fans here in the north.

The Ulster Council, of course, has come up with its own bargain buy £20 ticket for the McKenna Cup competition which allows the bearer into all matches.

Council president Aoghan Farrell has already lauded the success of this scheme and believes it will help to entice new supporters through the turnstiles.

Farrell has stressed that the Council came up with the idea in order to facilitate those followers who would normally be prepared to attend more then one game in the competition and even go to some in which their own team is not engaged.

Certainly, the McKenna Cup competition generates much more enthusiasm among supporters than the other provincial tournaments which are held in January.

Farrell recalled that this year’s final between Derry and Tyrone was one of the best matches seen in the competition for some time and it’s hardly surprising that his enthusiasm for the 2012 competition is already proving infectious.

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