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Further details of 'Croke Park Classic' confirmed

A limited number of tickets for the game have already been made available.

Last year's game between Notre Dame and Navy provided a significant boost to the Irish economy.
Last year's game between Notre Dame and Navy provided a significant boost to the Irish economy.

IT’S BEEN CONFIRMED that the ‘Croke Park Classic’ encounter between the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Penn State will take place on 30 August 2014.

The announcement, confirming that UCF and Penn State will play outside the US for the first time ever, was made at GAA HQ today.

“This is a hugely significant event for Croke Park and Ireland. We in the GAA are looking forward to hosting a competitive sporting occasion,” said Páraic Duffy, GAA Director General.

“Irish people are renowned for their love of sport as evidenced by the thousands who attend our games throughout the year.  I have no doubt that this game will be every bit as attractive.”

Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar added:

“This will be a fantastic event for Croke Park and for Ireland. The Navy vs Notre Dame game in 2012 welcomed 35,000 US visitors to Dublin. The “Croke Park Classic” will be every bit as important, and just as exciting, and both teams are guaranteed a warm welcome. It’s great news for sports fans, for the GAA and the wider economy. I congratulate everyone involved on making this possible.”

Meanwhile, UCF Knights Coach George O’Leary also said he was looking forward to the event.

“We are very excited about the prospect of playing our 2014 season opener in Dublin. It’s a great opportunity for UCF, and a chance for us to grow the exposure of our football programme.

“On a personal level, Coach O’Brien (Penn State) and myself are both of Irish heritage, so obviously it means a great deal to both of us to be in a position to bring our teams here. We are confident that Croke Park will be an excellent venue for us to play in, we have been hugely impressed to date with the facilities and we are looking forward to a huge crowd to get our 2014 season off to a flying start.”

A limited number of end zone tickets for the game were made available for sale today from ticketmaster.ie and tickets.ie, while a general ticket sale across all GAA outlets is scheduled for mid-autumn.

The most recent American Football match to take place in Croke Park, between Notre Dame and Navy, attracted an attendance of almost 50,000.

The game was understood to have added approximately €100m to the Irish economy, in addition to contributing to almost 15% growth in American visitors in the period August-October 2012 in comparison to the same three months in 2011.

Croke Park to host American football and All-Ireland semi-final on the same weekend>

LIVE: Dublin v Meath, Leinster SFC final>

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Paul Fennessy

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