American Football to Return to Ireland in 2016
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced that American college football game will be played in Dublin again in the Aviva Stadium in the autumn.
The Boston College Eagles will face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, 3 September in their season opener that will see 25,000 people travel to see the event.
The 2014 Croke Park Classic saw over 20,000 people come from the US from the University of Central Florida and Penn State. The game caused some controversy as an All Ireland semi-final between Kerry and Mayo was forced to relocate to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
The GAA decided against hosting the event again, with president Aogán Ó Fearghail saying it would not be “financially worthwhile to the GAA”.
Previous to that, Notre Dame squared off against Navy in 2012, which was hosted in the Aviva Stadium (pictured).
Speaking at the launch, Kenny emphasised the increasing importance of sport tourism to the country, saying that "American college football is making not just a name, but a second home for itself in Ireland.”
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland welcomed the announcement, saying that the expected 25,000 people would bring "wider benefits to the island as a whole."
The game will be worth an estimated €24 million to the local economy, according to Gina Quinn of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, benefitting business around Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and Louth.