HomeIrish NewsRecord Number of US to Attend Aer Lingus College Football Classic

Record Number of US to Attend Aer Lingus College Football Classic

A record number of US visitors to an international sporting event are expected in Ireland this year for the annual Aer Lingus College Football Classic in the Aviva Stadium.

Tickets for this year’s 2023 Aer Lingus College Football Classic – between Notre Dame and Navy – have now fully sold out.

Tickets have been snapped up by college football fans from abroad and in Ireland ahead of the highly anticipated match at the Aviva Stadium on August 26. 

A total of 40,354 international fans will travel to Ireland for the 2023 edition of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. Among the travelling fans will be 39,176 fans coming directly from the United States, representing a new world record for the largest number of Americans to travel internationally for a single sporting event.

The game is Notre Dame’s first home game in Ireland.

In addition to Irish based supporters, fans will also be travelling to the game in Dublin from countries across Europe and further afield.

The occasion will mark one of the most significant events in the business networking, hospitality and sporting calendar in Ireland this year. The 2023 College Football Classic has been valued in an independent report from Fáilte Ireland and Grant Thornton to be worth in excess of €147m to the Irish economy.

Based on previous College Football events held in Ireland, data indicates that the American visitors for the game will stay on average seven nights in Ireland, visiting three destinations. The most popular destinations include Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Killarney and Cork.

Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin, welcomed this news, saying: “The Aer Lingus College Football Classic Series is a really important event for the tourism and hospitality sector in Dublin and all across the island and I am pleased to support the series via funding from Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. The game in August will also provide opportunities for business, education and other sectoral exchanges between Ireland and US and will further strengthen the cultural, sporting and affinity links between our two countries.”

Commenting on the sell-out fixture, Co-Founder and Director of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic Padraic O’Kane said;

“The demand for tickets for the 2023 Aer Lingus College Football Classic proves that Ireland is the home of College Football outside of the United States. This year’s event in Dublin will see the largest movement of Americans into Europe in peace time with the game set to provide a huge boost to the Irish economy and hospitality sector.”

The game between Notre Dame and Navy, which kicks off at 7.30pm local time, Saturday, August 26, will be the opening fixture of the 2023 College Football season, known as “Week Zero”.

A series of additional events such as pep rallies, pre-game tailgating parties, medical summits, business, sporting, networking and academic events are also planned around Dublin, with details to be announced in the lead-up to the sell-out clash.

The game will be televised live and streamed on NBC in the United States to an estimated audience of over 4 million, while Sky Sports will also be broadcasting live to Irish and UK audiences.

Mr O’Kane added: “Work is well underway to make this the biggest and best Aer Lingus College Football Classic to date. For those who were unable to get a ticket for the game, there are lots of exciting events planned around Dublin to give the authentic College Football experience.”

The official game week app will go live at the start of July when the full official events program will be released. The app will be pushed out to all ticket holders, including the 40,354 international fans with a focus on recommendations for destinations, attractions, restaurants and bars across Dublin and Ireland. Businesses that want to leverage commercial opportunities on the game app can visit, www.collegefootballireland.com for more information.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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