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Discussion of regular season game in Ireland crops up again

Ireland London 2012 Torch Relay AP

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.

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19 Responses to “Discussion of regular season game in Ireland crops up again”
  1. Deb says: Jun 20, 2012 5:02 PM

    It’s not often that I disagree with Dan Rooney, but we’re on opposite sides when it comes to indulging the notion of playing National Football League games in other nations. Steelers fans throughout the States look forward to the opportunity to see the team in person at away games. That’s one reason the team is known for traveling well. It would be a shame to deny loyal American fans one of those opportunities. Preseason, fine. But not a regular-season game.

  2. jackericsson says: Jun 20, 2012 5:07 PM

    If the Steelers played in Ireland, it would be as the visiting team. And yes, Steeler Nation would take over the Emerald Isle. Steeler Nation becomes Multi-National from Mexico to Ireland!

  3. briang123 says: Jun 20, 2012 5:11 PM

    It will be a lot of fun to see how much Steelers fans love the idea of a regular season game in Ireland if it means one less home game at Heinz Field.

  4. njsteelersfan says: Jun 20, 2012 5:19 PM

    Let them have the Pro Bowl Thats about it

  5. benh999 says: Jun 20, 2012 5:24 PM

    Why not just bring back NFL Europe? It can’t possibly be worse than watching rugby and soccer.

  6. bison4me says: Jun 20, 2012 5:37 PM

    Why not play games in markets in the US that do not have pro football. Instead of going to countries that will never field a Pro Football team. why not to LA or Oklahoma, Idaho, or Alabama? Those American citizens would enjoy the game and growth would stand a better chance in those cities than Dublin.

  7. mightycelt78 says: Jun 20, 2012 6:06 PM

    As someone born and living in Dublin it would of course be of great interest to have an nfl game here. Saying that, completely agree that its a little weird having these teams fly all the way over here mid-season. Maybe a preseason game would make more sense?

    Though if I want to be a smart arse I could suggest that maybe NFl’s push for international games is in some way to justify the obnoxiousness of Super Bowl champs to declare themselves “World” Champions in a “National” Football League! ;-)

  8. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 20, 2012 6:08 PM

    It’ll be dubbed the Empty Bowl Of Famine.

  9. ampats says: Jun 20, 2012 6:20 PM

    Terrible idea. I understand the whole global concept but I am of the opinion that the NFL should be played on our home teams sites and import pre-season games overseas if they want NFL football( London, Ireland). I also don’t think it would make sense for a team in London to have a regular season game against a team from the West Coast.

    Lets keep the NFL in the USA !

  10. sfsaintsfan says: Jun 20, 2012 7:14 PM

    You know if the Steelers play in Ireland it will be as a visiting team. The only teams who get home games taken away are the step sisters of the NFL…..

  11. ndnut says: Jun 20, 2012 8:41 PM

    Ironically, ND’s game in Dublin is a HOME game for NAVY!

  12. hooks024 says: Jun 20, 2012 9:40 PM

    Guinness is not irish. It’s owned by a french company.

  13. captaincanoe says: Jun 20, 2012 10:23 PM

    Don’t the games the Bills play in Toronto count as international? Or are we just not telling the Canadians that they are the 51st state.

  14. Deb says: Jun 20, 2012 10:31 PM

    @mightycelt78 …

    Since these 32 teams are the only ones in the world playing this particular sport, the winner is the “world” champion ;)

  15. eggersthejerk says: Jun 21, 2012 1:36 AM

    I am in favor of letting the Steelers play a regular season game over there.

    I am also in favor of them STAYING over there and not ever coming back.

  16. mightycelt78 says: Jun 21, 2012 4:50 AM

    @Deb

    Well, there are teams outside of the USA playing (American) football. Admitedly, chances are no other team in the World could beat the superbowl champs but you can’t just declare yourself World champs without opening the competition to the World.

  17. jerrysandusky1 says: Jun 21, 2012 12:59 PM

    Why not play a game in Los Angeles, Omaha, Oklahoma City or some other big city with out an NFL team. Keep in America. Support the American person and AMerican economy.

  18. ravenator says: Jun 21, 2012 4:02 PM

    Who cares this team sucks and will go 9-7

  19. randallflagg52 says: Jun 22, 2012 2:06 AM

    Yeah because nothing screams Irish hertiage like Pittsburgh…

    Get real, Baltimore and New England have the greatest Irish influance in the USA so it should be one of those two teams to play in Ireland rather than a team from some prodistant state like Pennsylvania.

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