General Industry

Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2023 Game Generated €180m For Irish Economy

By Robert McHugh
Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2023 Game Generated €180m For Irish Economy

The Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2023, featuring Notre Dame and Navy, is calculated to have generated €180 million for the Irish economy.

The news was announced this week, as the teams were recently revealed for the 2025 Aer Lingus College Football Classic, the fourth in the five-game series – Kansas State University and Iowa State University – at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on 23 August 2025.

‘Exceptional Event’

“The Aer Lingus College Football Classic is a prime example of how strategic events align with government policy and Fáilte Ireland’s vision for destination development,” said Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin.

“With an economic impact of €180 million for last year’s exceptional event, initiatives of this scale not only bolster local economies, but also spread business opportunities throughout the country.”

Economic Impact Report

The €180 million economic impact was disclosed in the newly published Post-Game Economic Impact Report by Grant Thornton.


The historic sold-out game in August 2023 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin – the second in a five-game series – attracted over 49,000 attendees, with 39,702 from the US, 1,063 visitors from other parts of the world, and over 8,000 from Ireland.

The event marked one of the highest revenue-generating sporting events ever held in Ireland and witnessed the largest-ever single movement of US citizens outside of the US for an individual sporting event.

‘Irish-American Connection’

“I would like to pay tribute to the vision of Martin and Carmel Naughton and family for initiating and championing this great Irish-American connection, which now drives significant economic benefit for Ireland, not only through tourism, but also through wider business and academic channels,” said Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland.

“We look forward to working closely with event sponsors including Aer Lingus and Grant Thornton, and Irish American Events Ltd, and we hope to make this series a permanent fixture in the US college football and Irish tourism calendars.”