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College Football Classic to attract 23,000 visitors to Dublin and generate over €60m

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Northwestern University and Nebraska will take to the Aviva turf

Northwestern University and Nebraska will take to the Aviva turf

Northwestern University and Nebraska will take to the Aviva turf

Northwestern University will take on Nebraska in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic at the Aviva Stadium Dublin in August 2022.

18,000 US fans and 5,000 European fans are expected to travel to Dublin during the week of the American football game and the event is expected to generate €63m for the Irish economy.

The game will be the opening fixture of the 2022 College Football and Big Ten Conference seasons.

More than three million people are expected to watch the event on live TV in the US.

The Aer Lingus College Football five-game series was due to start in 2020 but was disrupted due to the pandemic.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Ireland would have a “very special welcome” ready for both teams and supporters when they arrive next year.

“The past year has been a very difficult one for us all in Ireland and in the United States. With our vaccination rollout advancing at pace, we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, and we can begin to look forward with optimism to welcoming visitors safely back to our shores. When we do, we will have a very special welcome ready for the teams and their supporters when they visit us for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic,” Mr Martin said.

Northwestern Wildcats Head Coach Pat Ftizgerald said the game is an “incredible opportunity for the entire university community”.

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“We are thrilled that our programme will get to immerse themselves into the beautiful Irish culture, while we continue to help grow the game of college football on a global stage. It’s an honor to be included in this once-in-a-lifetime experience and can’t wait to have the Northwestern faithful join us in one of the world’s most amazing settings,” Mr Ftizgerald said.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, said the economic and social benefit to Dublin will be “immense”.

“I am thrilled with the announcement of the 2022 Aer Lingus College Football Classic in the Aviva Stadium,” she said. “Such events strengthen our ties with other great nations, showcasing Dublin as a premier hosting destination and after a challenging year gives great optimism to the country for the months ahead.”


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