FBD returns for ’22, season ticket back too

The January pre-season competitions, shelved this year due to Covid, were meant to be axed permanently arising from the mooted changes to inter-county competition structures. Instead it was the planned changes that bit the dust – for now at least – and so it’s no surprise that the pre-season tournaments will be back once again in the New Year.

For us, that means our old friend the FBD Connacht League, which isn’t a league at all, returns to the fixture list. The 2021 version has a significant novelty factor, as all the matches are set to be played in the dome at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan.

This is the first time that Senior inter-county matches will have been played there, which in all likelihood also means they’re the first Senior inter-county games ever played at an indoor venue.

I’ve no idea what this means in terms of permitted attendance (if any) at these matches. This is a topic that is clouded both by the current high daily infection numbers and by the fact that it’s an event taking place at an indoor venue. Would, for example, it be restricted to punters with Covid certs? Your guess is as good as mine.

What has been confirmed, however, is that all the FBD matches will be streamed live, which is another innovation as, up until now, there hasn’t been a whole load of streaming of inter-county games (aside from the Covid-era wider availability of the GAA GO service and the matches TG4 have streamed via YouTube).

Other issues of note in relation to the 2022 FBD competition is that unlimited substitutions will be allowed in matches, meaning all 26 players named in match-day panels could see game time, though players withdrawn cannot be re-introduced (unless it’s a temporary blood substitution). All matches will be decided on the day, with extra-time and a possible ‘golden score’ used to break stalemates.

Here are the fixtures for the 2022 FBD:

  • PRELIMINARY ROUND: Leitrim v Sligo, Tuesday 4th January
  • SEMI-FINAL: Mayo v Galway, Friday 7th January
  • SEMI-FINAL: Leitrim/Sligo v Roscommon, 8th January
  • FINAL: scheduled for Friday 14th January

So, with the FBD fixtures nailed down and the League schedule set to be confirmed soon, today’s confirmation that the GAA’s season ticket scheme is set to be reactivated in 2022 is very welcome news.

According to a piece in today’s Mayo News (paper and digital variants), we had 3,622 season ticket holders at the time the scheme was suspended in August last year due to the restriction on attendance at matches arising from the pandemic. All of these season ticket holders will be given the option to renew their membership for 2022.

The 2022 price of the Cáirde Mhaigh Eo (Club Plus) ticket will be €250, as opposed to €200 pre-Covid. This is, I think, the first price rise for this ticket since the scheme began a decade ago. The price of the standard season ticket rises to €150 compared to €120 previously.

According to that Mayo News piece, renewals will open “in the coming weeks.” I’ll give a heads-up on this here once I this happens.

30 thoughts on “FBD returns for ’22, season ticket back too

  1. Yeah, particularly the Cairde one. What’s the basis for that other than greed? They have no proper customer service either – everything is email

  2. Price increase is lousy alright. Especially when you take it we will be travelling to every game next year. And zero justification for the increase in any of the press releases.

  3. Price hike looks excessive, id say match day tickets for league and championship are set to increase next year by 5+ euro. no other reason for the increase.

  4. 3,622 Season ticket holders (I’ve two), only raffled a few hundred for us for the finial, and now they are adding a price increase…… someone somewhere is having a good aul laugh to be fair. I’ll still be renewing ?

  5. Colm Keys says in today’s independent that it hasn’t been decided if season ticket holders will be guaranteed all Ireland tickets this time

  6. That’s a 25% hike hitting the pockets hard for those who have multiple tickets to be renewed especially in the run-up to Christmas. The appetite might not be there to get ready for another season following the Green and Red just yet but when those league games throw-in and championship games come along it’s a nice thing to have in your pocket in case we get to another final which is always a possibility for this team. It’s also an incentive to get out of the house and get back into life again.

  7. @Lureco I saw that too, I’m a Croke Park ticket holder and you’re only gauranteed an All Ireland ticket if you have attended at least 65% of the games and your county is that final. Surely if that’s withdrawn then what’s the point of a season ticket. No incentive there.

  8. Thatteamwontstart, correct there is no incentive to renew tickets if guarantee of final ticket isn’t included. Also mentioned in that article is that there are no plans to increase the price of general admission tickets, if that’s the case then there is no justification to the 25% increase to the season ticket price.

  9. It’s some rise in price considering it was only 70 euro when I got my first one in 2013,through in the same aul stale structures and its losing it appeal…

  10. They’re not called the Grab All Association for nothing, I’ll give them that.
    I have 4 season tickets but will not be renewing at those prices. €600 for what? An argument, via emails of course – God forbid season tickets would put a human being on the end of a phone – to discuss the very regular problem of unscanned tickets in MacHale Park. Myself and my mates reverted to taking photos of the actual scanner scanning the ticket to prove we were there! Then they removed from the T&C’s the certainty of season ticket holders getting a seat in the stand. Finally, as we all know by now, the seat you get on All Ireland final day is almost certainly the worst seat in Croker. While all the dignitaries, corporate elites, and “sunglasses in the hair” brigade who just flew in the morning of the game all get seated between the two 45’s.
    So, they can shove their €600 where the sun don’t shine. I’ve been at every All Ireland Mayo have been in since 1989, including replays, plus the ’92, ’93, ’94 and ’95 All Irelands and I got a ticket every time, long before season tickets every came around the place. I think I’ll revert back to that.

  11. After the way season ticket holders have been treated down the years as Pebblesmeller references above, and particularly in the run-up to this year’s final (not even the courtesy of an email to let us know what was happening, nor a response to those who couldn’t access their accounts to see if they had “won” tickets in their farcical, anything-but-transparent draw) it wouldn’t surprise me if, for probably the first time ever, there is a decrease in renewals. I am also very much leaning towards not renewing – it’s very tempting to take the chance on final day if we get there again given how this year worked out.

    While an increase isn’t unexpected, an 25% hike along with no home games makes the prospect of attending games next year significantly more expensive than in 2019, at a time when fuel prices and indeed the prices of everything else are only heading one way. The GAA weren’t the only ones hit in the pocket by the pandemic and if you thought you’d be guaranteed courtesy or customer service at the very least, it might be an easier decision. But no, the usual contempt remains. I still fondly recall a senior representative of the GAA basically calling me a liar in the Irish Times back in 2014 with regard to season ticket scanning failures, and their manner of dealing with customers hasn’t improved one iota since.

    The entire point of the season ticket was to guarantee access to a final ticket. There is literally no point to the scheme otherwise. So I do expect that this will remain in place.

    Congrats to all the Knockmore faithful on the win at the weekend (and commiserations to Belmullet). A classic for the ages it was not, but neither will we forget it in a hurry. Fantastic atmosphere and a noisy crowd (though the large bunch of young Knockmores behind us would rival Hill 16 with their jeering and booing). Delighted to see the semi-final taking place in Ballina too on Saturday 4th December – it’s been a real treat to have so many big games in this part of the county this year!

  12. Pebblesmeller, I’m loving the mention of the “sunglasses in the hair” brigade, classic !! They always come out of the woodwork, every All Ireland.

  13. I tried to become a sunglasses in the hair brigade member but I quickly got found out with budgetary issues and a lack of familiarity with the proper placement of said sun visor technology in my very unstyled hair.
    Sunglasses people especially people with wraparounds, they always seem to have very serious to slightly annoyed looking faces. Like they’re trying to be the cliched very miffed roadside cop in a Hollywood film.
    Such people, they might be physically at the event … they’re not really present at the event.

  14. it would be great if a motion was brought at county board convention along the line of not less than 70% of tickets having to be allocated to the clubs for all ireland finals from the counties allocation.
    Distributed based on the number of members in the club

  15. Center field bullshit if you lived in Mayo in the sixties seven or eighties and indeed nineties you would never attend a final. The present system is fair

  16. After all those All Ireland finals, and replays for over a decade.. And when you got to the All Ireland final with your season ticket, the worst seat’s in the house, between the end line and the 14 yard line.. But corporate Ireland, could buy tickets with a donation to the training fund of €1K.. between the two 45 meter lines. It takes more than just season ticket holders for Mayo, but they have been the most loyal of any County in Ireland, with several thousand others, non season ticket holders.. Not that, our deeply indebted home McHale Park is even available untill next May at the earliest, just a decade after a major redevelopment.. Surely that work should and could have been done much earlier, like last year,or even spring this year, when Covid restrictions ensured that there was no need for the capisity of Mchale Park.. I’m sure corporate Ireland will be just as interested in hospitality to make up for any shortfall in what used to be a multitude of the most loyal Supporter’s in Ireland… I don’t think I will renew myself.

  17. Our best team of the last 70 years is now gone and our chances of winning SAM are reducing as well.
    I get the feeling a lot of supporters who now realise this are going to stop attending games to support the team and we could be going back to the support base we had before the James Horan era – around 2,000 Mayo people attended the Connacht final in Roscommon in 2011 when we were out numbered 8 to 1 by the Rossies. When you told people you were going to the game – they looked at you as if to say – are you mad.
    I will continue to attend games to support the players and the team – everyone will decide for themselves what they will do.

  18. Southmayo Exile, I too will continue to attend and support the team and players but it will be on my terms, not theirs. And when we get to the next All Ireland final you can be damn sure I’ll have a better seat as a non-season ticket holder than if I continued to pay over the odds for nothing.

  19. Good post Anne Marie with regard to the season ticket renewals. I agree with all your points. The increase is not justified in the current environment. I think we are all disappointed they did not seriously look at holding the home games within the county. That would have been a nice gesture forsaking a certain percentage of revenue in return to giving something back to the hard pressed supporter.

  20. I actually hope they do remove the guarantee of an AI ticket as part of the season ticket.
    The exodus of Mayo fans from the scheme in that instance would be so massive it would be hilarious for the bean counters in Croke park.
    It’s absolutely scandalous to increase it by that much. There is literally no justification possible for this rise.
    There’s literally no other sport in the world that sells season tickets where you’d save money if you just bought an individual ticket to every game in the season, instead of a year long pass.
    It’s a bit like selling Mars bars individually at one euro each, or offering a “deal” where you can buy 7 bars for €10.
    Dumb.

  21. That’s the way the GAA operate, when they expect demand to drop by x% they increase prices by x% to make up the shortfall, so unless demand drops by over 25% they are still quid’s in. So for all of those who won’t renew, the GAA aren’t bothered, they’ll get the money from those daft enough to take a 25% price hike on the chin and they’ll possibly make even more money on the All-Ireland tickets which you may have been “guaranteed”.

    It’s the projected drop in demand that’s behind this price hike.

  22. @Viper.. That’s a huge risk in killing the Golden Goose, that have laid all the Golden Eggs for years now, the undervalued loyal Mayo fan’s … The way it is in Ireland, a crowd follows a crowd.. take this seneario for example, less season tickets sold, less people traveling to all our league game, (all away game’s).. less non season ticket holders, traveling with the season ticket holder, who he/she feels virtually obligated to travel, just because they have paid for the privilege… Less value in sponcer advertising of the game, and the hoarding around the pitch, not that Mayo County Board will get any revenue from that particular source, we will apparently be outsourcing that revenue to our (home away from home host’s of Sligo, Roscommon and possibly Leitrim).. but at least it’s keeping it in Connacht… they never would let what should have been home games played in Croke Park, would they?… It’s coming up to Pantomime Season.. Oh yes they would!.. And will they tell us why the work that should have been done in newly renamed Mchale Park (And what fantastic value that is for our new Sponcer of the new name of the idle Mchale Park), wasn’t done last Spring or even 2020? Oh no they won’t ! .. Mayo used to have about 3500 season ticket holders, maybe they will again in 2022, who knows?.. But the County Board only receives €50 per every adult Croke Park Season Ticket sold for Mayo, I think every County Board should, definitely benefit much more than €50 per season ticket, at least double that figure.
    But I don’t think the Mayo County Board will advance that argument at all.

  23. Will any club delegate be questioning Mayo’s Central Council delegate about the rationale of the season ticket price increase? Will said CC delegate have any rational answer for questions? My guess is “no” on both counts. Will said CC delegate be opposed by an opponent with any streak of independent thought? My guess again is “no”.
    On the issue of NFL venues what is the point of playing games at Sligo/Carrick/Roscommon? Why not play the games away with the corresponding games being played in Mayo when we are next due to meet away? I cannot see any of our opponents refusing such an arrangement.

  24. Anybody know if all of those FBD games are going to be played in the Dome at Bekan? I am aware the first game, Sligo v Leitrim, is.

  25. You’re not paying attention, AndyD! As my piece confirms (citing a report on the Mayo GAA website) all of the FBD matches in January are set to be played at the dome and all of them will be live streamed.

  26. Mayo GAA have confirmed that the FBD semi-final against Galway will be played at 7pm on Friday, 4th January at the Dome. The match will be live streamed. No idea what the story is with numbers allowed to attend.

  27. I would have no problem with the Season Ticket increase if they included a year’s subscription to MayoGAA TV as part of the package

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