The Fighting Irish are coming – and they’re set to inject a $30million cash bonanza into the ailing Dublin economy.
Organizers of the Notre Dame-Navy football match at the city’s Aviva Stadium have been staggered by the response to the September clash.
Already every hotel room in the Irish capital is booked out for the game with a guaranteed windfall for the hospitality industry.
Over 40,000 American football fans have already booked their trips to the game, far exceeding expectations.
Estimates now suggest it could be up there with the Ryder Cup and the Special Olympics as major tourist draws.
Accommodation experts are now looking for private short-term apartment rentals to try and satisfy the shortfall – with Americans prepared to pay $500 for their two night stay.
Property sourcing consultant Karen Mulvaney told the Irish Independent that the regular supply of short lets has already run out.
She said, “The hotels have been booked out for a long time and now the short lets are all gone. We’re looking for apartments in south Dublin areas for the most part.”
Notre Dame’s Kate Nolan is also searching for accommodation for fans already booked to travel.
She told the paper, “We knew it would be popular, but we never imagined we’d have so many coming over.
“We were initially worried about finding accommodation for our travellers in Dublin but we are now looking as far away as Athlone to get them housed.”
The famous American college has already sold over 30,000 tickets for the event while Navy fans have snapped up 5,000 tickets with Irish fans filling the remaining seats.
The game is already a sell-out but both sides expect another 5,000 ticketless fans to arrive for the parties and side events.
Ireland’s tourist authority Failte Ireland are also ready to cash in on the huge interest in the college match-up and will launch their ‘The Gathering’ festival on the same weekend.
A Failte Ireland spokesman said, “We couldn’t miss out on this opportunity given that this event will be watched by tens of millions of Americans on live television and by many more around the world.
“They’ll also be showing clips of the city. It’s a great chance to sell Dublin and Ireland.”