Two of the biggest names in college football, Notre Dame and Navy, are going into battle, and they’ll be bringing an army of fans with them to lend support. Thousands of people are expected to make the trip to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Navy and Notre Dame also played in Ireland in 1996 and 2012. Now for the third time in 2020, the adrenaline-pumping and hard-hitting action of college football will be played in Ireland and we're ready for kick-off! 2020 game is the first in a series of five.
Notre Dame and Navy, who played each other on 27th of October, 2018 in San Diego, have played every year since 1927 - the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in college football.
"In 2012, it was one of the greatest airlifts in all of sports with more than 35,000 people coming from the United States to witness the beauty of Ireland and the extravaganza that is Navy-Notre Dame, and we expect just as many people to return in 2020," Naval Academy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement.
"The support and enthusiasm for the game in Ireland is magnificent with the complete support from the Prime Minister and the Irish government agencies. We are looking forward to a great matchup in a country that knows no bounds for hospitality."
The game will be the first of five annual Aer Lingus College Football Classic games to take place in Dublin.
This is a long-term partnership with U.S. college football. We want to see it continue long into the future."
"College football is one of the greatest spectacles in world sport and to bring it back to Ireland for a five-year series is wonderful news for Irish tourism and for sports fans," said Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar.
The Aer Lingus College Football Series will have a very strong Irish-American influence. Not only will there be the usual college football fanfare with lots of fun events celebrating the red, white and blue including marching bands, cheerleaders and tailgating parties, but there will also be a great celebration of the close Irish-American links that are so highly valued. The teams will compete each year for the Keough-Naughton College Football Trophy, acknowledging the contribution to Irish-American society of Don Keough and Martin Naughton.
The game takes place in the magnificent bowl-shaped Aviva Stadium - home to the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Republic of Ireland national football team, and is Ireland's first and only UEFA Elite Stadium.
It’s also a concert venue, and has hosted some of the biggest names in music (think Madonna, Rhianna, Neil Diamond). So with a capacity of 48,000, expect the stadium to be packed with excited football fans on September 3rd.
In store for the winning team is the Keough-Naughton College Football Trophy, designed by Matt Kehoe, and hand crafted at the Waterford Crystal factory. When the diamond cutting catches the light, it creates that magical sparkle that Waterford Crystal is famous for.
More than a game
Frequently voted as one of the world’s friendliest cities, Dubliners will extend a warm Irish welcome and join traveling fans to celebrate the big game. The Dublin City Fanzone will see the city’s cultural quarter transformed into a party of pep rallies, parades and many other events.
Of course, no football game would be complete without tailgate parties before and after the game – games, music, food, dancing and maybe a few surprises. Get ready for an epic football weekend!
The games will be organized by Irish American Events Ltd. which is a joint venture between Corporate.ie and Anthony Travel who have been involved in college football games in Ireland previously.
Fans can be a part of the official travel program to secure exclusive game tickets today.Click here to find out more or to check out gameday travel packages.
There are a variety of experiences to choose from including must-see attractions, adventure, culinary and golf outings, and much more, courtesy of Anthony Travel. Learn more and secure your seats in Aviva Stadium by visiting CollegeFootballIreland.com/travel-packages.
Even more college football is headed overseas for Ireland. The 2021 college football season will start overseas for Big Ten opponents Nebraska and Illinois. The Cornhuskers and Illini will play in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.