Saturday 24 February 2018

Whole new ball game coming to Croker

Quincy Adams (Navy) and Justin Ferguson (Notre Dame) fight it out in Croke Park
Quincy Adams (Navy) and Justin Ferguson (Notre Dame) fight it out in Croke Park
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

Thousands of American football fans are expected in Dublin next year for the opening game in the college football season.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) will face Penn State in the Croke Park Classic on August 30 next year in a game expected to bring a massive economic and tourism boost to the capital.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce estimated that the last American football game held here, when Notre Dame played Navy in September 2012, was worth €60m to the economy.

Paraic Duffy, GAA director general, said the game was a hugely significant event. "Irish people are renowned for their love of sport as evidenced by the thousands who attend our games throughout the year. I have no doubt that this game will be every bit as attractive," he said.

Tourism and Sport Minister Leo Varadkar said next year's match would be a fantastic event.

"It's great news for sports fans, for the GAA and the wider economy," he added.

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