Irish hurling is returning to Boston’s famous Fenway Park for the first time in six decades.
Some of Ireland’s most beloved GAA stars will face off in a Dublin v. Galway game On November 22.
Yesterday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, along with Fenway Sports Management, American International Group (AIG), the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) announced that hurling will be played in Fenway Park for the first time in more than 60 years with the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival on November 22, 2015.
Galway, 2015 All-Ireland finalists, will take on Dublin in an exhibition comprising some of the top hurling players from the Emerald Isle.
Hurling, for those who are unfamiliar, is believed to be the world’s oldest field game, combining agility, strength and intensity to make it one of the fastest paced games.
For the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival, the two teams will play a modified version of hurling called “Super 11’s” which reduces each team to 11 players and restricts the scoring to shots that go under the crossbar into the net. There will be no points for shots through the uprights.
“Boston and Ireland have such a strong connection and it is thrilling to see one of the country’s native games will be played on our city’s most beloved ball park,” said Boston Mayor Walsh, who tried his hand at the sport.
“Hurling is among the most exhilarating games played in the world and our city is proud to host one of Ireland’s most traditional sports.”
“Hurling is one of the most electrifying sports in the world and we think fans are going to enjoy watching all the fast-paced action as two of the most accomplished and talented teams compete right here on the pitch at Fenway Park,” said Fenway Sports Management President Sam Kennedy.
“We are always looking for opportunities to bring new and exciting events into Fenway and, whether you’re a fan of hurling or new to the sport, the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival promises to be a great event.”
In addition to the Hurling Classic, AIG and FSM have teamed up to offer attendees a lively Irish festival complete with Irish food, music, and dancing.
The Irish Festival will be highlighted by a unique performance by Boston-based American Celtic punk band the Dropkick Murphys. The Dropkick Murphys’ connection with Fenway Park and the Red Sox's began in 2004 when the band wrote and recorded “Tessie” and it became the anthem for the Red Sox first World Series Championship in 86 years.
Tickets for the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival go on-sale on Thursday, September 17 at 12:00 p.m. ET. The event will also be streamed live for hurling fans globally on www.redsox.com/irishfestival.
“Following a very successful All-Ireland Final where we drew 82,000 in attendance and had an audience of over two million people watching globally, we could not be more thrilled to bring hurling to one of the most iconic American sports venues in Fenway Park,” said GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell.
“Dublin and Galway will put on a fantastic display for the spectators, showcasing the wonderful skills and courage of hurling and will help further the growth and interest of hurling in the US.”
GAA Director General Páraic Duffy added, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase what is commonly viewed as Ireland’s national game on the coveted stage that is Fenway Park. Our games have never enjoyed a higher profile outside Ireland and knowing the importance of Fenway Park to American sports fans, we hope this event involving two of our top teams will further elevate the status of our game to sporting enthusiasts across the city and further afield.”
Additional details about the Irish Festival will be continuously posted at the event website. For more details on the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival and ticket information, please visit www.redsox.com/irishfestival.