Munster GAA chiefs are smiling all the way to the bank after reporting a 27% increase in the number of patrons attending this summer's provincial senior hurling championship fixtures – due in main to Cork's glory surge.
Attendances have jumped dramatically from 100,868 last year over the course of four games, to 127,992 in 2017.
The provincial body will have banked well over an extra €500,000 this year, taking an increase of 27,124 spectators into account.
For a four-game championship, it’s the highest cumulative figure since 2008 (136,868), an indication of just how valuable a strong Cork support can be, as the red hordes made three trips to Thurles.
And this year’s figure represents the highest combined total for a Munster championship since 2009, when 136,908 fans attended five games, including a semi-final replay between Limerick and Waterford.
The massive crowd of 45,558 in Thurles on Sunday for the Clare-Cork decider beat last year’s final between Tipp and Waterford at the Gaelic Grounds by 19,050.
And it was the largest attendance at a Munster senior final since 2008, when 48,077 watched Tipperary beat Clare at the Gaelic Grounds.
Munster Council chairman Jerry O’Sullivan said last night: "It’s an indication of how popular and attractive the games are.
"People are turning out in huge numbers and it’s great for the Council and everyone involved.
"A lot of people mention finance, and that’s important, but the more money we take in, the more money we give out to the counties.
"It’s a fantastic system and has served the province very well."
O’Sullivan, a former Cork county board chairman, has also declared Páirc Uí Chaoimh ready to host the All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals over the weekend of July 22/23.
O’Sullivan was at the venue yesterday and he said: "It’s spectacular, worth waiting for and it will be great to have games back there again. "We’re looking forward to two entertaining matches – and it’s good to have games of that nature to get the ball rolling."
O’Sullivan also admitted that he was disappointed when it emerged that the revamped venue would not be ready to host the recent provincial football and hurling deciders.
He said: "It was disappointing for everybody. We all hoped it would have been ready for them but with a project of that size and nature, to get it in the state they did, so close to the Munster final dates, was a huge achievement in itself.
"A number of things weren’t finalised and you can’t go ahead without everything in place.
"It’s good to go now. There’s some tidying up and other small jobs to be done, but everything will be place for July 22/23."