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American football game set for early kick-off on the first Saturday in September 2016

The game between Georgia Tech and Boston College will not start at the usual time of 2pm.

We don't think Enda Kenny has a future as a quarterback.
We don't think Enda Kenny has a future as a quarterback.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated at 2.50pm

THE 2016 COLLEGE American football game between Boston College and Georgia Tech will take place on Saturday 3 September 2016 as first reported on The42 in May.

The encounter, which was originally scheduled to take place in Croke Park at a later date in 2016, will now take place in the Aviva Stadium with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD making the official announcement of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin today.

The game has been moved to what is traditionally All-Ireland hurling final weekend in an effort to better suit Boston College’s 2016 schedule and will involve an early start for fans hoping to watch the game in the US.

While both the Emerald Isle Classic and Croke Park Classic had 2pm kick-offs, The42 understands the 2016 game will kick-off at 12.30pm Irish time, meaning a 7.30am start for fans in Boston for whom this will count as a home game.

It is our understanding the earlier kick-off is designed to facilitate the mass exodus of fans travelling home to the States, freeing up hotel rooms in the capital on the Saturday night of what is sure to be a busy sporting weekend.

As with previous games here — said to have brought in between €20-€25 million each to the local economy — many of the travel packages will be designed to bring US visitors to Ireland 3-5 days in advance of the game.

At the launch today organisers said they believed 25,000 fans would travel from the States and said the game could be worth €56 million to the Irish economy with fans choosing to spend some time outside the capital before it.

While general tickets — starting at €30 — will not go on sale for a number of months, tour packages from the US are available immediately as are corporate hospitality packages.

Originally published at 10.40am.

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Steve O'Rourke

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