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A money-spinning sort of homecoming for U2

(Belfast Telegraph) -- U2 will play the last gig of their three-night run at Croke Park tonight in what has been hailed a massive success for them - both musically and financially.

Punters and critics have given the band's triumphant homecoming the stamp of approval. The band is expected to pocket at least €15m from their three-night stint at Croke Park. The Vertigo tour is believed to cost in the region of €1m a night to stage. But with ticket sales making them €19m and merchandising, record sales and royalties from the tour expected to rake in millions more, the band will pocket a massive windfall even after concert promoters MCD have taken their cut.

And it's not just U2 that will be counting the money.

The GAA is set to make more than €3.1m from the series of concerts at Croke Park. The association is believed to be receiving between 13 and 17pc of the takings for each sold-out performance.

Officials at the stadium said reports at the weekend that the GAA would only net a fraction of the millions made by the band were "completely off the mark".

Speaking ahead of tonight's concert, Croke Park stadium manager Peter McKenna said the GAA would make in excess of €3m from the concerts.

"The band carry all of the costs for the clean-up, pitch cover, and the cost of gardai but we've been responsible for food and drink, DVD rights and a percentage of the merchandise," Mr McKenna said yesterday.

Although figures from takings at the weekend were not yet compiled, Mr McKenna said sales of food and alcohol at the stadium at the weekend had been "very successful".

Gardai were happy with the crowd's behaviour at the weekend. Over the Friday and Saturday night concerts, with in excess of 160,000 fans, less than a dozen arrests were made.

It is understood that two were for casual trading offences while the rest were for breaches of public order related to drink. Gardai last night issued a warning about forged tickets in circulation.

A number of forgeries have been seized at security barriers over the first two nights and gardai have warned people to stay away from touts and to buy only from reliable outlets.

Some fans at the Friday and Saturday gigs said speakers situated at the centre of the stadium created an 'out of sync' effect, and technicians were working to rectify this for tonight's show.

Posted on by Macphisto

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