6 July 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry this morning said that if Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup is successful then ticket prices must be affordable and the matches must be shown free to air.
He also said that hosting the event would have to leave behind a legacy of improved public transport, improved broadband and improved facilities and resources for the rugby clubs which nourish the game at grassroots level.
He was speaking after the Dail rushed through emergency legislation last night allowing the State to underwrite the bid to the tune of 338 million euro.
The Rugby World Cup is the third largest sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Ireland is in a 3-way competition with France and South Africa for the 2023 Rugby World Cup with a result expected in November.
Deputy Barry said this morning: “The Rio Olympics were held in half-empty stadia because ticket prices were beyond the reach of ordinary people. That must not be allowed to happen here – ticket prices must be affordable for everyone. Nor should watching the games on TV hit watchers in the pocket and make a fortune for the broadcasting corporations. The games must be free to air. If the Government don’t heed the warnings on ticket prices and free to air they will face a backlash from the people or Ireland who would rightly see the games as something that should be owned and enjoyed by all.”