Those lobbying for a Pittsburgh Steelers game to be held in Croke Park were dealt a killer blow on Wednesday, as it was confirmed that the Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Minnesota Vikings in Wembley Stadium next September. This will be the second game to be held in the famous soccer arena as they will also host the Jacksonville Jaguars when they take on the San Francisco 49ers next October, according to the Journal.ie.
Croke Park Director Peter McKenna sees the logic in the decision however, and remains optimistic that Croke Park will get NFL games in the future.
‘Obviously we’re disappointed with that but the decision is with the NFL and I think you have to respect that,’ he says. ‘The decision is to run the two games in Wembley. You can see some merit in that. I think our bid stands on its own and we’re still going to continue to push and lobby for Dublin to be a venue in the future’.
The hierarchy of the GAA headquarters were optimistic of getting the NFL showdown as Dan Rooney, the Pittsburgh Steelers owner, is the US Ambassador to Ireland and has shown interest in having his team play in Dublin, according to the Irish Independent.
According to the Journal.ie, an NFL game in Dublin would be worth 50 million euro to the Irish economy and Peter McKenna is not giving up hope that this will happen in the near future.
‘Part of the pitch is that we’ve been very successful in hosting major events as a country heretofore. You’ve got the Tour de France, Tall Ships, the Ryder Cup and the collegiate game that was held in the Aviva. They’ve all shown that large international sports fixtures can be held here and held very, very successfully. So I think the merits of our bid haven’t diminished. We’ve been unfortunate this time but never say never’, he concludes.