TheNotre Dame versus Navy game in Dublin could be worth close to $100 million to theIrish economy when future tourism potential is fully accounted for, new estimates say.
The game on 1st September will be a complete sell-out at the Aviva Stadium, in Dublin ,with national coverage back in the US on CBS.
Dublin Airport will have its busiest ever day on 2nd September, the day after the Navy versus Notre Dame game in Dublin.
Some 35,000 Americans are now expected to travel for the game, with the vast majority travelling direct from the US, though many will be coming in from Notre Dame overseas clubs in Britain and from Europe. It is the largest influx by far of American tourists for a single event in Ireland.
Irish tourism leaders are expecting a major knock-on effect from the game. The Gathering, the 2013 coming together of the Diaspora year-long event, will be a major sponsor of the game.
Back in 1996, just 10,000 traveled for a similar fixture to Dublin featuring the same two sides. The vast increase in numbers reflects the continued growth of interest in Irish issues on the Notre Dame campus where the Keough/Naughton Institute for Irish Studies has become a very popular site for elective courses.
In addition, the game has become huge news in Ireland. The Notre Dame Welcome Home pep rally will attract live coverage on Irish national television. Tickets for the rally are being scalped in Dublin for up to $4,300 each.
Meanwhile, there are 40 archbishops, bishops, and priests co-celebrating the traditional pre-game Mass which will also be televised.