Back in January 2011, there was some speculation that the Steelers would be playing a regular season game in Dublin later that year.
That never came to pass, but the idea of bringing a game to the Emerald Isle never went away. The BBC reports that the NFL came to Croke Park in Dublin this year to assess its viability as a venue for a game and Mark Waller, chief marketing officer of the NFL, came away interested in the possibility of bringing our brand of football to town.
“We need stadiums that have availability in the middle of our season and the soccer season,” Waller said. “We also need them to be large, able to take the levels of hospitality and corporate entertainment that we generate. We looked long and hard before we came to play regular season games at Wembley. Now we’re looking seriously at playing two games internationally and, as we do that, Ireland and this venue in particular are very attractive to us.”
Notre Dame is playing a game in Dublin this fall and it has already sold out. Obviously a team named the Fighting Irish has particular cachet in a country filled with Irish who sometimes fight, but the London experience has definitely shown an interest in the NFL on that side of the pond.
There’s no word in the report about when the NFL would be thinking about adding a second international game, outside of it not being this year. Should the game get the go-ahead, the Steelers are sure to be under heavy consideration to play in it. Dan Rooney has been an advocate for a game since starting his term as U.S. ambassador to Ireland and told the BBC that he’d be interested in having the Steelers, who played a preseason game there in 1997, involved if and when the NFL comes to the land of Guinness and James Joyce.