The fastest sport in the world, Irish hurling, comes to the home of the New York Mets this November for the 2019 New York Hurling Classic at Citi Field.
GAA fans get ready: the Irish sport of hurling is heading to Queens for the New York Hurling Classic with a four-team tournament on Saturday, November 16.
Building off the highly-successful U.S. events at Fenway Park in 2015, 2017 and 2018, a three-game tournament will be played with four counties competing for the Players Champions Cup, which was introduced at the 2017 event.
Four Irish senior hurling teams – newly-crowned All-Ireland champs Tipperary, runner-up Kilkenny, Wexford, and Limerick – will take part in a three-game tournament, with each of the games running 40 minutes in duration. Limerick will defend the Players Champions Cup, having won the 2018 Fenway Hurling Classic with a 38-30 victory over Cork.
Tickets for the New York Hurling Classic go on sale Wednesday, August 28 at 10:00 a.m. at www.mets.com/hurling.
Widely believed to be the world’s oldest field game, hurling combines agility, strength, and intensity, earning it the reputation as the “fastest game on grass” among its loyal and passionate followers.
Hurlers use a wooden stick called a hurley to hit a small ball called a sliotar (pronounced slitter) between the opponents’ goalposts either over the crossbar (1 point) or under the crossbar into a net guarded by a goalkeeper (3 points). For the New York Hurling Classic, the teams will play a modified version of hurling called “Super 11s” which reduces the pitch to 11 players and the only way to score is under the crossbar into the net.
The Gaelic Players Association (GPA), the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and Aer Lingus partnered with Fenway Sports Management (FSM) and Metropolitan Hospitality to bring hurling to Citi Field for the first time in the ballpark’s 10-year history.
“We are thrilled to bring the ancient Irish sport of hurling to Citi Field this November,” said Heather Collamore, Vice President, Metropolitan Hospitality. “Hurling is one of the most exhilarating games in the world and we think fans are going to love the combination of speed, skill and scoring. We are excited to have the fast-paced action featuring some of the most accomplished teams in Ireland on the pitch at Citi Field.”
“The New York Hurling Classic will be a tremendous showcase for our sport and should excite every fan in attendance. Special events like this are important as we continue to grow the game and bring hurling to new audiences," said GAA President John Horan.
Aer Lingus will be the official airline of the event, responsible for flying the teams from Ireland to New York City. Aer Lingus has been involved in the three previous hurling events at Fenway Park.
“Aer Lingus is synonymous with bringing the best of Ireland to America and most particularly New York, which is why this event is such a great fit for us,” said Aer Lingus Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Donal Moriarty. “We are proud and delighted to be able to bring Ireland’s greatest sport to the city that never sleeps.”
“We’re excited to partner with the GAA, GPA and Citi Field to bring hurling to New York,” said Mark Lev, president of Fenway Sports Management. “FSM is proud to play a role in growing hurling and showcasing the sport to new audiences in the U.S. The three events at Fenway Park drew amazing crowds, so whether you’re a fan of hurling or new to the sport, the New York Hurling Classic promises to be a can’t-miss event.”
In addition to the hurling tournament, the event will feature an Irish festival complete with music and dancing. For more information about the New York Hurling Classic and to purchase tickets, please visit www.mets.com/hurling.
* Originally published Aug 27, 2019.