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US high-school football to be annual event here

AMERICAN high-school football is set to become an annual event in Dublin.

Football chiefs were so impressed by the welcome received when Notre Dame and Navy Academy played here that they want a tournament every year. The move would be a massive tourism boost as the August tie attracted 35,000 US visitors over four days and brought in an estimated €100m to the economy.

Now the organisers of the 12-team high school tournament which took place in Dublin that weekend are planning a return.

That could mean hundreds of young athletes, cheerleaders, marching bands and families visiting Dublin every August.

Global Football has already showcased the Irish tournament, known as GIFT, in a CBS Sports Network documentary last week, broadcasting scenes from Dublin city centre, Trinity College and UCD to a potential audience of 44 million in the US.

Head of Global Football, Patrick Steenberge said: "I've started planning next year's event and I have a great deal of interest already."