The Irish-based promoters of a series of US college football games scheduled to be played in Dublin have confirmed that the game due to take place in the Aviva Stadium in August between the universities of Illinois and Nebraska will not go ahead due to coronavirus restrictions.
The Aer Lingus Football Classic series, estimated by Grant Thornton to be worth €65 million to the Irish economy for each game, also had its inaugural game, between Notre Dame and Navy, cancelled last year.
The Notre Dame game would have brought 40,000 high-spending US visitors to Dublin while this year’s game would have brought 25,000, the promoters estimated. The organisers are currently cancelling 105,000 hotel bed nights due to the game not taking place in Dublin this year.
Chairman of the steering committee behind the games, Neil Naughton, who is also executive chairman of Glen Dimplex, insists its backers remain committed and that the five-year series will kick off in 2022, virus permitting.