Whilst still 2 years away, the Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2020 is bringing American Football back to Ireland and the excitement is already building. The American College Football Classic was announced on October 25th, 2018 by Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, with 5 games scheduled to take place between 2020 and 2024.
The Classic will kick off with The Navy Academy (“Navy”) taking on old rivals The University of Notre Dame (“Notre Dame”) in Dublin in August 2020. The dates and teams for the remaining 4 games have yet to be announced, but they will take place in Ireland before the end of 2024.
We will publish the dates of the other games once announced.
Game 1 of the American College Football Classic:
Who is playing: Navy vs Notre Dame
Date: 29th August 2020
Time: 5pm GMT
Location: Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
Contact us to make a holiday out of your football trip to Ireland. We can completely customise your tour of Ireland to incorporate the game and make sure you see the best of the country before and after the game. We have a huge range of fully customizable private tours of Ireland and self-drive tours that can be tailored to your needs so you get to see exactly want you want on your tour of the Emerald Isle.
The Navy-Notre Dame Rivalry
The Navy-Notre Dame rivalry is one of the longest American Football rivalries, starting in 1927 and with a game played every year since. Notre Dame lead the series with 75 wins, 13 losses and one draw. Despite the one-sidedness of the series, it is a yearly tradition with a strong connection between the teams since Navy helped Notre Dame University when they were struggling financially during World War II.
2020 won’t be the first time the teams have played on Irish shores, with their annual games previously held in Dublin in 1996 and again in 2012, both of which Notre Dame won.
We look forward to welcoming both teams back to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2020, which is sure to be a game steeped in great tradition, and maybe this time it will be Navy’s turn at the top.
About the Aviva Stadium
The Aviva Stadium in Dublin, formerly known as Lansdowne Road Stadium, was built in 1872 and was the first international sporting venue in the world. With a capacity for 51,700 spectators, the Aviva Stadium is home to the Irish Rugby team and the Republic of Ireland football team. There are tours of the stadium, which are easily incorporated into any of our self-drive and private tours of Ireland.
When was the last American Football game played in Ireland?
The last American Football game played in Ireland was in 2016 when Georgia Tech played Boston College. Georgia Tech narrowly won, with a final score of 17-14.
When was the first American Football game played in Ireland?
The first American Football game played in Ireland was in 1946 when US servicemen on the way home from World War II played a game in Croke Park Stadium in Dublin. It was the first time a sport other than Gaelic Football and Hurling was played in Croke Park.
When was the first Emerald Isle Classic?
The first official National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football game in Ireland was in 1988 when the first Emerald Isle Classic came to Dublin’s Lansdowne Road Stadium. Boston College took on old rivals Army (the Army Cadets football team). Boston College won that day with a score of 38 -24.
It wasn’t just about the game that day but about bringing the popular national sport over the Atlantic Ocean to a whole new host of fans, a traditional that has continued to the present day.
In 1988, 10,000 American fans made the journey to Dublin to watch the game and take in the great Irish culture, for some of which is part of their own ancestry, and the wonderful Irish welcome.
The game also gave a huge boost to the Irish economy, with hotels booked out months in advance, restaurants busy and shops staying open later in the capital to accommodate American tourists.
The American College Football tradition in Ireland continued
Since the first Emerald Isle Classic, the popularity of American Football has grown in Ireland, with many more American football games being held in Ireland over the years.
|1988||Lansdowne Road Stadium, Dublin||Emerald Isle Classic||Boston College vs Army||Boston College 38 Army 24|
|1989||Lansdowne Road Stadium, Dublin||Emerald Isle Classic||Pittsburgh vs Rutgers||Pittsburgh 46
|1996||Croke Park Stadium, Dublin||Shamrock Classic||Navy vs Notre Dame||Notre Dame 54
|1997||Croke Park Stadium, Dublin||*First NFL game to be played in Ireland||Pittsburgh Steelers vs Chicago Bears*||Pittsburgh Steelers 30
Chicago Bears 17
|2012||Aviva Stadium, Dublin||Emerald Isle Classic||Navy vs Notre Dame||Notre Dame 50
|2014||Croke Park Stadium, Dublin||Croke Park Classic||Penn State vs UFC||Penn State 26
|2016||Aviva Stadium, Dublin||Aer Lingus College Football Classic||Georgia Tech vs Boston College||Georgia Tech 17
Boston College 14
There is now American Football teams in every province in Ireland. Just like our national Gaelic Football and Hurling is played in parts of the United States, we have adopted American Football in Ireland. The Rhinos, Rebels and Panthers are located in Dublin, with the Eagles in County Wexford and the Wolves in Galway. Check out a full list of the teams and the latest results and fixtures.
A great part of American Football making its way to Ireland is for the fans being able to discover another country and experience another culture, which is for some American people part of their own heritage. Explore the wonders of the Emerald Isle, from the bustling cities to the beautiful countryside and majestic coastline. Learn the rich history, enjoy the delicious local cuisine and receive the warm Irish welcome.
If you want to trace your Irish ancestry whilst on holiday, at Love Irish Tours, our escorted tours of Ireland and self-drive tours are fully customisable to meet your needs and what you want to see and experience most in Ireland. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a memorable vacation for you and your loved ones.