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Garth who? Croke Park looks to US football fans

croke Park is dusting itself down after Garthgate with a bid to make Dublin the European home of American football.

Despite the fact that the subject of the country crooner in "still raw", Croke Park director Peter McKenna said they would still welcome Brooks back.

"We'd love to have him back," he said. "If we could be tied in at the end of his world tour that would be brilliant."

But is it too soon to ask promoter Peter Aiken to look for a Brooks return?

"It's very raw, particularly with Peter," said Mr McKenna.

"He's taken a huge battering and a bruising. I certainly wouldn't raise that with him for a few months."

debacle

Garthgate, which cost the GAA €5m in lost revenue, needs to be put to one side, according to the association, but licensing legislation needs to be addressed to avoid a future similar debacle.

"We can get into a blame game but I don't think there is any advantage in that," said Mr McKenna.

"We don't want a situation again where people buy tickets on a maybe.

"The whole city lost out, so let's make sure it never happens again."

Now the GAA is moving on to target the huge audience of another US staple - American football.

On August 30, Croker will host the Croke Park Classic when Penn State and the University of Central Florida clash in front of more than 50,000 fans.

"This is something that has been in gestation for more than two years and it is a huge opportunity to showcase Ireland," said Mr McKenna.

The game is set to attract thousands of visitors from the US and generate around €30m for the Dublin economy.

"It will be a huge success," said the Croke Park boss. "We've all got to dust ourselves off and move on."

In the lead-up to the big match, Temple Bar will be the location for a traditional tailgate party and pep-rallies.

The GAA hopes to attract an American football glamour game to Croker every other year.

hnews@herald.ie


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