SPORT — 07 August 2014

Croke Park event? Check
Slightly cheesy photo op pre-event? Check
Promises of thousands of tourists hitting Dublin? Check
Estimated millions of euro to be boosted into the Irish economy? Check

What could possibly go wrong?

Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke was at the launch of the Croke Park Classic schedule of events today, alongside Croke Park Stadium Director Peter McKenna.

The Croke Park Classic American College Football game between Penn State and University of Central Florida (UCF) takes place on Saturday 30th August and Temple Bar is set to become a Croke Park Classic fanzone over the weekend.

This fanzone will provide travelling fans and locals with an area to mix and mingle and get behind their chosen teams. Both teams’ Pep Rallies will be hosted there on Friday 29th and the pre-game Tailgate Party will also take place in Temple Bar on the morning of Saturday 30th. Dublin Bus will offer a complimentary shuttle service from Temple Bar to Croke Park to take fans from the Tailgate to the game.

There are 20,000 tourists expected, mostly from North America. Organisers hope it will generate an estimated 30 million euro for the economy.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke said; “The economic benefit from the Croke Park Classic and the various social, business and entertainment events surrounding the game are hugely significant to the country.

“It’s a wonderful platform to showcase what Ireland has to offer to the many tourists who are over for the game and all those watching on television around the world. I am certainly looking forward to what promises to be an exciting build up followed by a superb spectacle in Croke Park.”

Croke Park Stadium Director, Peter McKenna said, “We have made a substantial investment to bring this event to the city and establish Dublin as the European Home of American College Football and we’re delighted to announce details of a series of events taking place  in the run up to the game.

“These include the American Ireland Business Forum, The UNESCO Symposium on Youth Civil Engagement and Leadership through Sport, the GIFT high school games in UCD and a host of cross cultural and entertainment events in the Croke Park Classic Fanzone in Temple Bar.  We’re delighted Dublin has embraced the event and hope that a fantastic welcome will be extended to all those travelling from overseas and around the country.”

The Croke Park Classic game spectacle will be a full days entertainment for all the family featuring parachute jumps, the Penn State marching band, Extreme Rhythm, The Dublin Gospel Choir, cheerleaders, team mascots and the Hurling Super 11’s. Tickets, including a special August Family Ticket Offer, are still available for the event.

UCF and Penn State will be playing for the Dan Rooney Trophy and there is a special coach’s Waterford Crystal helmet for the winning coach.

American Football is set to dominate the Irish sports calendar this August with the Irish American Football Association’s ‘Shamrock Bowl’ between Trinity College Dublin and Belfast Trojans in Tallaght Stadium this Sunday 10th August.

Tickets for the Croke Park Classic are on sale and further details are available on www.crokeparkclassic.ie

Follow the event on twitter @crokepkclassic or on facebook.com/crokeparkclassic

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