Tuesday 26 September 2017

American Football returning to Croker as GAA poised to seal college deal

The GAA attracted criticism last August when the hosting of University of Central Florida and Penn State (pictured) forced the Kerry-Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay on the road to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
The GAA attracted criticism last August when the hosting of University of Central Florida and Penn State (pictured) forced the Kerry-Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay on the road to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA are expected to sign contracts in the coming weeks to host another American College Football 'Croke Park Classic' in 2016.

Boston College have been lined up to play Georgia Tech in the latest instalment, expected to be a season opener despite suggestions that it could be pushed out to October.

The GAA attracted much criticism last August when the hosting of University of Central Florida and Penn State forced the Kerry-Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay on the road to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

In his annual report published last week, the GAA's director-general Paraic Duffy admitted "regret" that the risk they had taken in fixing the 'classic' for that date had backfired.

But that hasn't stopped another major college game coming to Croke Park with Duffy stressing the need to generate more revenue from these ventures to fund other projects.

Work still remains on the dates but the GAA must first sign off on the new calendar proposals before anything can be finalised.

If the match is played on the corresponding weekend as last year - the last weekend in August - it could fall on the Saturday evening before the All-Ireland hurling final if the proposed calendar changes, due to come into operation in 2016, are introduced. But that is something the GAA would be keen to avoid.

If there was an All-Ireland hurling final replay next year, that would be slated for the following Saturday evening, September 4, with the American Football colleges game more likely to switch to Sunday September 5.

Irish Independent

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