High School American Football Event Returns to Dublin in 2020


Select High Schools to Play Early Season Matches in Dublin Friday Night Lights Spectacular Across The Nation’s Capital

The thrill and excitement of high school American football will return to Ireland in 2020 with multiple games taking place in and around Dublin on Friday, August 28, two years from now.

Global Football will celebrate a quarter of a century as the world’s leading exporter of the sport outside of the United States, by again organizing the showcase spectacular as a partner event of the 2020 Aer Lingus College Football Classic. The University of Notre Dame and Navy will play at Aviva Stadium on Saturday, August 29, the day following the high school games extravaganza, with all the prep school players enjoying the big NCAA contest. Anthony Travel, the longtime travel partner of Global Football, and Irish American Events Limited are again serving as the overall event producers. The three groups will team up again to plan and execute all travel logistics for each team and fan groups.

A total of 12 schools will venture across the Atlantic Ocean to experience the Irish culture and to compete in a series of games, with multiple venues in Greater Dublin hosting single, double or triple-headers of Friday Night American football games.

“Returning to Ireland in 2020 is something I have been dreaming about since our last event there in 2016,” said Global Football president and founder Patrick Steenberge. “We are proud to again partner with Irish American Events Limited to provide an unparalleled experience for a select group of top academic and athletic high schools.  I am also eager to work closely with Irish American Football leaders to help them accomplish their goals.

“The schools’ visionary administrators, along with supportive parents and alumni, will allow the curious student athletes to travel to Ireland to compete, but just as importantly to learn, to serve, to explore and to enjoy many of the wonders Ireland and its gracious people have to offer.”

In 2012, 12 visiting teams thrilled local fans in Dublin and County Meath the night before Notre Dame and Navy met for the first time in Ireland’s capital.  Two years later a pair of Pennsylvania rivals clashed at the UCD Bowl on the eve of the Penn State versus UCF meeting at Croke Park.  In 2016, six teams played a triple-header of high school games at Donnybrook Stadium as the curtain raiser to Georgia Tech facing Boston College at the Aviva Stadium.

Each visit to Ireland has also featured a spectacular Dublin city center parade of all teams, marching bands and cheerleaders, that has brought the capital city to a standstill, followed by an American-style Pep Rally at historic Trinity College Dublin.

Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar said: “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. Over 35,000 fans travelled to Ireland when Notre Dame and Navy last met in Dublin in 2012 and we will warmly welcome them and many others back for the Aer Lingus College Football Classics. Major games such as this one showcase Ireland as a location for international events and tournaments and put our world-leading hospitality and tourism sector front and centre. I look forward to the first game of the series with the return of Notre Dame vs Navy in August 2020; I have no doubt it will be a hugely popular occasion.”

Global Football has established a web page dedicated to the 2020 event, which includes tour options for travelers, pricing, and how high school coaches can request an invitation and commit to joining the celebration in Dublin at www.GlobalFootball.com/Ireland-2020.

Further details of traveling schools, host venues, kickoff times will be announced during the two-year build up to the 2020 high school American football event.


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Since 1996 Global Football has provided 15,000 amateur football players, coaches, families and fans from more than 350 schools the opportunity to travel and compete internationally with similar people of differing cultures. During that time, they have produced games and tours in 28 countries on 6 continents, including 2012, 2014 and 2016 D3 college and high school showcases staged in Ireland alongside the NCAA college football games.  Through these games, clinics and tours the people involved experience and learn about unique lands, fascinating people, and the sports environment in different parts of the world. Global Football has become the world’s largest exporter and producer of American football outside of the USA.  The Global Football Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was formed to further our commitment to these goals. Contact Patrick Steenberge: 817-219-7274 / Email: Patrick@GlobalFootball.com.



Anthony Travel, a division of On Location Experiences, is a full-service travel management company specializing in university and athletic travel. Founded in 1989, Anthony Travel has 29 years of experience in collegiate travel, servicing over 80 college athletic departments year-round and numerous other universities throughout the year with special events. Anthony Travel manages all housing and travel components of 300+ athletic events annually and has managed over 160 international athletic tours in more than 30 countries on 6 continents. Anthony Travel has played a significant role in the formation and execution of all of the successful overseas college football games of recent history, including the 2012 Emerald Isle Classic, 2014 Croke Park Classic and 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic, both played in Dublin and broadcast around the world. In 2012, the last time Navy and Notre Dame played in Ireland, Anthony Travel managed travel for over 10,000 U.S. visitors. Anthony Travel consulted and executed with the participating universities on stadium selection, revenue strategies including sponsorships and ticket sales, marketing, travel packages, tourism relationships, pep rallies, pre-game parties and various ancillary events.

Corporate.ie is a leading Irish events and hospitality company. The company played a pivotal role to both the Emerald Isle Classic in 2012 and the Croke Park Classic in 2014 and has an excellent understanding of the various traditions and culture associated with US college football. For the Emerald Isle Classic in 2012, Corporate.ie represented The University of Notre Dame on the ground in Ireland for 18 months prior to game weekend. Creating, developing and executing a very specific four-day program which was enjoyed by 28,000 plus Notre Dame travelling supporters. For the Croke Park Classic in 2014, Corporate.ie worked directly with the management of Croke Park Stadium on the strategic planning of the overall event from early 2014, assuming control for the activation of the City and the high-level business networking events.

Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. The airline operates 61 aircraft on routes to destinations in the UK, Europe and North America, carrying 11 million customers per annum. This summer Aer Lingus will operate 24 flights per day across the North Atlantic, with three daily services between Boston and Ireland; two flights to Dublin and one flight to Shannon. Aer Lingus’ primary mission is ‘To Connect Ireland to The World’ by providing guests with convenience, choice, comfort, a seamless experience and value. We serve a combination of leisure and business travelers with a quality core product that can be augmented through benefit driven a la carte paid options. Aer Lingus serves central airport locations, enhancing connectivity options. Our guests can choose from nine North American destinations with more than 100 onward connections across the U.S and Canada with our partner airlines. Dublin Airport is the only major airport in Europe to offer U.S preclearance, which enables passengers to save time on arrival in the U.S by completing all the necessary immigration and customs checks prior to departure.

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