South Dublin launches The Gathering American football games
Tallaght Stadium to host visiting college teams from North America
At the Global Irish Economic Forum held in 2011, the Irish Government announced that 2013 would mark the year of The Gathering, the biggest tourism initiative ever created for Ireland. Minister Leo Varadkar stated that “The Gathering will be a year long programme of events festivals and fun”. In response, South Dublin Tourism conceived The Gathering Dublin, which is expected to be the most prominent initiative in the entire The Gathering 2013 calender of events.
South Dublin County is home to Basketball Ireland, Baseball Ireland and the Irish American Football Association, so the county decided to build on this unique association with American sports to put together a series of events aimed at giving visiting North American teams the opportunity to compete in sporting events within the County. Other sporting and cultural organizations have also joined the initiative to give a programme of events that spans 15 sporting and cultural areas.
The Gathering Dublin is also unique in that it brings together local government, national sporting facilities, the tourist industry, cultural organizations and the sporting National Governing Bodies into a single partnership that is not only able to host major events, but also able to fully cater for the travel, accommodation, cultural, educational and sightseeing needs of the visitors.
The Gathering Classic games (Aug/Sept): The format of the American football tournament for The Gathering Dublin is that a minimum of two games will take place in Tallaght Stadium. These will be competitive games matching up visiting teams who play a similar level of football at either High School or small college level.
The IAFA wants these games to be special – similar to the ‘kick-off classic’ type games you see in college and professional football. The winning team in each game will be awarded a ‘The Gathering’ themed trophy. We want to recreate the unique atmosphere of a North American college or high school football game, but with an Irish twist. Irish sports fans are renowned the world over for their warmth and enthusiasm, so visiting teams and their supporters will enjoy a big Irish welcome and be made feel at home.