Boston College's game with Georgia Tech in the Aviva Stadium was announced last June, but on Thursday morning in Trinity College the full scale of what the game will bring to Dublin was finally revealed.
The two teams are to meet in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic on September 3rd in the opening game of the college football season. The game will have a 12:30pm kickoff, meaning an early morning start for fans of the colleges on America’s west coast.
20,000 tickets have already been sold for the game, almost all in America. Game organisers expect that at least 50% of those in attendance will be American who will travel to Dublin from the Boston and Atlanta areas.
ESPN will broadcast from Dublin during the game and organisers hope to the station’s flagship program SportsCenter will be based in Dublin in the lead-up to the event. The program is one of the most popular sports shows on American television.
Trinity College will also host three high school games in the build-up to the event with teams from Georgia, Florida and New Jersey. The University will act as a Welcome Village for fans from both colleges in the week building up to the game, including the colleges pep rallies ahead of the game.
Game Promoter Padraic O’Kane told Newstalk Sport that the event is a brilliant way to promote Dublin and it’s surrounds. “Compared to most major events that come in, sporting events that come into Dublin like a rugby international are gone again. These people will fly into Shannon and Belfast and will spend time in towns and cities around the country. This is not only a win for Dublin but it’s a huge win for Ireland.”
O’Kane claims the Dublin is now the “European Capital of College Football” as the city prepares to host the third college football game in the city in five years. “The great thing about college universities coming to Ireland is every aspect of the school wins.”
The game takes place on the same weekend as the All-Ireland Hurling Final, and O’Kane feels that a lack of beds wont be an issue in Dublin at the start of September.
The American Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley was also in attendance, at the St. Louis native is delighted to attend the event in Dublin.
“It will be the first football game of the year, it will get a lot of coverage” in America according to Ambassador O’Malley. “It’s a big thing. ESPN is coming over to cover it. They are going to do a number of hours of pre-game. The will show the spectacle of what an American College Football pre-game is.”
Ambassador O’Malley doesn’t have an affiliation with either team and he hopes to see “an American spectacle” in Dublin. At the moment, the ambassador does not have an official role in the game but jokingly added he could play for either team if they needed “a very old corner back”.Tickets for the game go on sale to Irish fans on April 6th at 9am on ticketmaster.ie