"Our aspirations long-term are to play a game in Ireland," Daniel Rooney, Director of Business Development and Strategy with the Pittsburgh Steelers, said in Dublin's Croke Park on Thursday, May 25.
"As we move through the process, we'll be evaluating all options."
The Steelers organization hosted a press conference in Croke Park on Thursday, just days after the NFL announced that the Pittsburgh team would be granted international marketing rights in Ireland.
"We played here in '97," Rooney told RTE Sport on Thursday, referencing the only NFL game to ever be played in Ireland when The Steelers beat the Chicago Bears in Croke Park in July 1997.
"We have a great relationship with the GAA in Croke Park. It's a beautiful venue. It looks like an NFL stadium back home.
"Packing this stadium for a football game would be an exciting day.
"I could certainly see that happening."
For the first time since 1997, @Steelers energy is taking over @CrokePark. What a sight to behold for our official return to Ireland 🙌🏈#HereWeGo #SteelersIreland pic.twitter.com/clM2dFpbTG— Steelers Ireland (@SteelersIreland) May 25, 2023
Rooney, the grandson of former Steelers owner and US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney, has significant ancestral ties to Ireland; his ancestors emigrated to the US from Newry in the 1840s.
"For the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ireland is a special place," Rooney told the press conference on Thursday.
"It's part of us. It's part of our being. We're proud to say it's not only part of our past, but also our future."
Rooney said the plan is to bring the Steelers brand to all 32 counties in Ireland, making sure they have boots on the ground in the country to continue to build Steelers Nation in a variety of ways.
"As if we were back in Pittsburgh, we can do sponsorship deals, we can market, we can build fan engagement, we can host live events and we can do media deals," said Rooney. "It's a unique opportunity that not only allows us to commercialize but really grow our sport and our brand."
Mike Clausen, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in Ireland, told the press conference: "I am still tremendously surprised by the depth of the bonds between the United States and Ireland, including the number of Irish people I have met who have a favorite American football team.
"A love of sport is one of the many things that tie us together."