Thousands of visitors are expected to visit Ireland for a tournament of American Football this summer, taking place alongside the high-profile Notre Dame vs Navy college football game.
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has announced that Fáilte Ireland is providing funding of €10,000 for the tournament, which will feature 12 High School and College championship football teams from the US and Canada at the end of August.
“This will be a massive occasion for Ireland, but also for American college football. We expect upwards of 2,000 people to visit Dublin for this tournament, and many more to attend for the Notre Dame vs Navy game in the Aviva Stadium,” Minister Varadkar said.
The Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) tournament and other festivities will run from August 28th to September 2nd at a range of venues in and around Dublin. Around 2,500 official party travellers and fans from US eight states and two Canadian provinces are expected to travel.
Members of the public will be invited to the games, along with a range of other events:
• Team practices at University College Dublin on Thursday, August 30;
• American-style Parade and Pep Rally in Dublin city centre on Thursday, August 30 featuring marching bands and dance troupes, ending up at Trinity College;
• Trim is hosting a five-day ‘Feile Americana’ festival of Irish and American music, arts and cuisine.
The 12 teams will play three doubleheader matches on the Friday in Parnell Park and Donnybrook Stadium in Dublin, and Pairc Tailteann in Navan: Notre Dame Prep (Arizona) vs. Father Judge (Pennsylvania); Oak Park High School (Winnipeg,) vs. Villanova College (Ontario); Notre Dame HS (California) vs. Hamilton HS (Arizona); School (Connecticut) vs. Irish / UK All-Stars; John Carroll University (Ohio) vs. St Norbert College (Wisconsin); Loyola Academy, Chicago (Illinois) vs. Jesuit Prep Dallas (Texas).
Former Dublin Gaelic Footballer Brian Mullins, the Director of Sport at UCD, will serve as Honorary Chairman for the games at Parnell Park. Former Notre Dame All-American and Green Bay Packers first round draft pick Mike McCoy will serve as an Honorary Chairman for the games at Páirc Tailteann.