New Curragh boss to carry out review of ticket prices for the racecourse

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New Curragh boss to carry out review of ticket prices for the racecourse

The new CEO of the Curragh Racecourse has indicated a review of ticket pricing will be carried out.

Pat Keogh, who has moved from Leopardstown Racecourse with immediate effect, has replaced outgoing CEO Derek McGrath who oversaw a €81m redevelopment of the home of flat racing.

The Curragh's season ticket, which includes a free racecard on raceday, jumped by 51 per cent to €265 from €175.

Mr Keogh said of the Curragh: “This has got to be the racecourse of the community. That’s how the Curragh will succeed, with the local community saying ‘this is our racecourse and we’re very proud of it’. And I know they want it to succeed. I’ve been amazed by the number of messages I’ve received.

Mr Keogh told the Irish Times that recent attendance that figures aren’t good enough.

He added: "That’s something we’ve got to work on. Attendances aren’t the only barometer of success but they are an important one.

“We’ve got to make sure the product is right. If it is, attendances will follow,” Keogh said.

He insisted that positive word-of-mouth recommendations are often the best way to promote a racecourse. 

He continued: “From my experience the way to get attendances to increase in this game is that you can market it, but the best marketing of the whole lot is when someone comes to the Curragh, Leopardstown or Ballinrobe, has a really good time, and then tells their friends.

“That’s the best way of growing attendances over time. If we start judging things short term on attendances, that would be a mistake. The Curragh is going to be here for a long time. We’re in it for the long haul."