The new 50,000 seat stadium, built at a cost of €410M, ranks among the best in the world in terms of facilities, comfort level and technological innovation. The futuristic design provides high quality viewing facilities while maintaining a sense of connectivity with the city. The iconic roof is one of the most attractive and imaginative ever designed.
Particular attention was paid to green technical applications in its construction making it one of the most environmentally friendly stadiums ever built.
Accompanying John will be two of Ireland’s soccer legends. Packie Bonner after making his debut in 1981 went on to write his name into Irish soccer history on many occasions winning 80 caps, a record for an Ireland keeper. He is best remembered for his penalty save from Daniel Timofte at the 1990 World cup earning Ireland a place in the quarter finals. He is now the FAI’s Technical Director.
John Aldridge played 69 times for Ireland between 1986 and 1996 scoring a total of 19 goals for his country as well as playing in the Euro’88 finals in West Germany and the World Cup finals of Italia 90 and USA 94. His most important game for Ireland came during the 1994 USA World Cup finals scoring against Mexico to put Ireland through to the second round.
The Irish American Heritage Centre will host a reception to welcome the FAI on Friday 25th June at 7pm when there will be a presentation about the new stadium, a question and answer session and an opportunity to meet some of Ireland’s greatest soccer legends. The FAI will bring along some fantastic soccer memorabilia that will be used on the night to raise funds for local causes.
On Saturday the 26th at 12pm there will be a soccer camp at Gaelic Park when families can come along to meet the legends of Irish soccer and take part in a fun day of coaching with John Aldridge and Packie Bonner.
And to finish off what will no doubt be a memorable visit to Chicago, there will be a more formal function commencing at 8pm in Gaelic Park on the evening of Sunday the 27th June.
There will be a presentation by John Delaney about the new stadium and also to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Italia 90, a look back at the glory days of Irish football. The FAI have also kindly provided some very special auction and raffle items to raise funds for charities in the Chicago area.
To obtain tickets for any of these events contact-
The Irish American Heritage Centre Tel 773 282 7035
Chicago Gaelic Park Tel 708 687 9323