Croke Park director denies NFL games plans

Has no one noticed it takes months - often years - in advance to schedule NFL games?

When Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna had to step before the cameras this week, he seemed incredulous. McKenna insisted that no approach has been made to the NFL regarding a Croke Park date for one of its regular season games in the 2011/12 calendar.

Speculation in the press in the US had claimed that "some groundwork" had been made in getting the Pittsburgh Steelers to come to Dublin for one of their games next season. But director McKenna was having none of it. On Friday night he told the press that such a move remains "an aspiration."

The connection between the Steelers and Ireland lies in the fact that the family of the current US ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney, own the Steelers franchise.

"Obviously we'd like it to happen but we are not aware of any approach being made, formal or otherwise, recently," McKenna told the press. "We have been in touch with the Department to see if they would support us on such a venture."

Croke Park has a history of hosting major US sports events, including the Steelers and Chicago Bears American Bowl game in 1997. In 1996, Notre Dame played the Navy in Croke Park, but the hosting of a full, regular season NFL game is still something that has yet to occur.