Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Aer Lingus news.
Fighting Irish Return Home to Boost Irish Economy
In a statement published on its website, Aer Lingus said, "Organisers of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic have today announced details of the second game in the five-game series, which will see Notre Dame host Navy on Saturday August 26th, 2023 at the Aviva Stadium Dublin. The announcement comes ahead of the clash of the two teams this weekend in South Bend, Indiana.
"The 2023 game will be the first time that Notre Dame will move a home game to Ireland and with 40,000 US fans expected to travel, the game is set to provide a major boost to the country. Grant Thornton and Failte Ireland economists have calculated the 2023 fixture to be worth €147m directly to the Irish economy. The 2023 fixture is scheduled for week zero and will be the opening game for the 2023 College Football Season. The Game will be broadcasted by NBC with an expected TV audience more than ten million viewers.
"The teams previously met in Dublin in 2012, with Navy hosting Notre Dame in a sell-out fixture which saw 35,000 US visitors travelled to Ireland to watch Navy V Notre Dame – a world record of US fans to travel outside the US for one singular sports event, greater than any Ryder Cup or World Cup. The game proved to be a major catalyst in the ambition to make Dublin the home of College Football outside of the US and utilize the fixtures to further strengthen business and academic ties between Ireland and the US.
"After cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the five-game series kicks off next year with Northwestern University (Wildcats) taking on the University of Nebraska (Cornhuskers) in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 27 August 2022. The first opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2022 game will be during the official pre-sale on Friday 19th November 2021. You can register your interest in tickets at CollegeFootballIreland.com.
"Taoiseach Micheál Martin commenting on the announcement: 'The past year and a half have been challenging for us all in Ireland and the United States. Today's announcement that Notre Dame will play its first-ever home game in Ireland against Navy is extremely exciting and welcome news. The movement of this game to Ireland will provide a significant boost to our tourism and hospitality industries. We will have a very special welcome ready for the teams and supporters of Notre Dame and Navy when they visit us for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in August 2023.'
"Speaking about the announcement Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus, said, 'Today's announcement is a significant one for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic - it is great to see such momentum in the series which we know will help put Ireland, and indeed Aer Lingus, in the hearts and minds of college football fans right across the USA. With international travel so curtailed for the last 20 months, we believe that there is huge pent-up demand for travel now that boarders are reopening. And a Notre Dame-Navy fixture in Dublin provides US football fans with the perfect excuse to travel to Ireland. All of us in Aer Lingus are looking forward to welcoming families, friends, businesses, colleagues - and sports fans - on board.'
"Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said, 'I am delighted to hear this news that Notre Dame and Navy will return to Dublin in August 2023 for the second game of the five-game Aer Lingus College Football Series. It is a huge honour for Dublin to host the opening game of the 2023 College Football Season and to give Irish fans the opportunity to witness the sporting talents and colour of American College Football. I welcome back the 40,000 Notre Dame and Navy fans to Dublin and Ireland and look forward to joining with them in following their teams as they get look to get their 2023 season off to a flying start.'
"Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD: 'I am pleased to welcome the news that the Aer Lingus College Football Classic will take place in Dublin in 2023. This is the second fixture in a planned five-game series and on behalf of Government, I was delighted to be in a position to provide the public funding needed to secure the event. Large scale events such as this are an important part of driving tourism demand because they provide international and domestic visitors with a compelling reason to choose Dublin. Having also visited the US recently as Minister to deliver the message that Ireland is open again, I know the excitement among fans about being able to visit our shores.'
"Padraic O'Kane from Irish American Events Ltd. commented, 'After cancelling the 2020 fixture in June of last year due to Covid, all our stakeholders were determent to re-schedule the marquee fixture for the earliest possible window. Now, thanks to Notre Dame giving up a home game to Dublin, the game is a reality with the Fighting Irish taking on the Naval Academy for the third time on Irish Soil in 2023, 1996 and 2012 previously. This game, along with the 2022 Northwestern vs Nebraska game, will deliver a badly needed boost to our hospitality, tourism and aviation industries with the majority of the US travelers spending a minimum of seven nights throughout the island of Ireland.'
"Paul Keeley, Director of Regional Development, Fáilte Ireland, said, 'This announcement will provide a welcome boost for the tourism and hospitality sector especially in Dublin which has been hit hard by the pandemic. We will be thrilled to welcome the teams and their supporters to our capital city when they visit in 2023. These games are of critical importance to our economy, not just in Dublin but regionally too as fans will travel and visit other parts of Ireland. The millions of fans watching the game in the US will also provide Ireland with a valuable opportunity to showcase our ability to host large-scale international sporting tournaments while also reaching out to viewers - and potential visitors - in one of our key markets.'
"Jack Swarbrick, Director of Athletics, Notre Dame: 'We're thrilled to be able to provide another opportunity for our team and fans to experience the culture and hospitality of Ireland,' said Swarbrick. 'This trip overseas continues to strengthen our academic and athletic presence around the globe. Bringing a Notre Dame Football home game atmosphere to Ireland has been a goal of ours and we couldn't be more excited to partner with the Naval Academy to make it happen.'
"Chet Gladchuck, Director of Athletics, Navy, commented, 'We are very pleased to be returning to Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the 96th playing of the Navy-Notre Dame game,' said Chet Gladchuk, Director of Athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy. 'In 2012, it was one of the greatest airlifts in all of sports with more than 35,000 people coming from the United States to witness the beauty of Ireland and the pageantry that is a Navy-Notre Dame football weekend. We expect just as many people to return in 2023. The Navy fan-based support and enthusiasm for this game in Ireland is already overwhelming and with the ongoing support of the Prime Minister and the Irish government, it will again be an extraordinary experience. We look forward to our visit and a competitive contest against Notre Dame in a country that knows no bounds for hospitality.'
"Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland's Director of Corporate Services, said, 'Today's announcement that Notre Dame and Navy will play in the second game of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin, in August 2023, is really good news. With about 40,000 people expected to travel here for the game, it will deliver a very welcome boost for tourism from the United States. Tourism Ireland will work closely with Anthony Travel, the official travel company for both colleges, and other travel partners, to maximise the tourism benefits of the game. Sports-related tourism has emerged as a very significant element of the global travel business and the Notre Dame v Navy game will be another wonderful opportunity to showcase Dublin and Ireland, and more generally the many attractions that the island of Ireland offers as a holiday destination. Our message to both teams and their fans is that we cannot wait to roll out the 'green carpet' and welcome them to Dublin and Ireland.'
"Ticketing / Hospitality & Travel Packages
"Travel and Hospitality packages will go on sale for the 2023 game on Tuesday 23rd November 2021 through the official corporate hospitality game partner Corporate.ie and the official travel partner On Location in partnership with Abbey Group Ireland. Corporate group ticketing opportunities will also be launched before the end of the year. General ticketing information to be released in due course, with a pre-sale sign-up option available on the official game website. Travel and Hospitality packages for the 2022 game are currently on sale. Information on all packages can be found on CollegeFootballIreland.com.
"The Aer Lingus College Football Series will be bringing the usual college football fanfare with it, so attendees can expect lots of fun events including marching bands, cheerleaders and tailgating parties. For exclusive information see CollegeFootballIreland.com and follow College Football Ireland on Twitter @CFBIreland, Facebook
@CollegeFootballIreland and Instagram @CFBIreland with the official game hashtag: #MuchMoreThanAGame".
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.