The Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) American football event being organized by Global Football in Dublin and County Meath this summer is expected to have a positive €4.5 million economic impact in Ireland.
GIFT 2012 will feature 12 high school and college teams from the United States and Canada playing a series of 'Friday Night Lights' double headers at 4pm and 7:30 pm on Friday, August 31 at Donnybrook Stadium and Parnell Park in Dublin and at Pairc Tailteann in Navan, County Meath.
The competitive regular season games are being held on the eve of the September 1 Navy versus Notre Dame clash at the Aviva Stadium. The list of games are outlined below:
John Carroll (OH) vs. St. Norbert (WI)
High School Games:
ND Prep. (AZ) vs. Father Judge (PA)
ND HS (CA) vs. Hamilton (AZ)
Jesuit College Prep. (TX) vs. Loyola (IL)
Kent School (CT) vs. UK U19 All-Stars (Ireland/UK)
Oak Park (MT) vs. Villanova (ON)
It is estimated that more than 2,300 visitors associated with the participating schools will arrive in Ireland specifically because of the GIFT 2012 spectacular, and would not be coming to Ireland if not for these games.
Additional sports fans are expected to attend the games from across Ireland, Europe, the United States and even further afield. Tickets available at www.tickets.ie/gift2012 have been sold to overseas fans from Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Austria and even Australia. Buyers from 13 different American States and 33 towns within Ireland have already bought tickets.
"First and foremost we are showcasing high school American football at its very best and are providing the experience of a lifetime for the visiting players, coach, families and friends," said Global Football President and former Notre Dame QB Patrick Steenberge.
"But bringing this many people to Ireland specifically for this event also has a very positive impact in that the money they spend and the investment we make in staging the games benefits local businesses, people and the Irish economy. "We believe this spending will have a positive impact on the Irish economy, and we hope in particular that local businesses benefit and that GIFT 2012 is able to leave a lasting impression for all the right reasons."
Global Football has partnered with TodoCast Live Internet Broadcasting to make the games available through pay-per-view and on-demand online platforms. A package offering all six games live and available on-demand following the GIFT 2012 event will be available through www.GlobalFootball.com and www.GIFT2012.com priced $19.95 and fans will also be able to order games in advance.
GIFT 2012 live webcast schedule Friday, August 31:
4pm local / 11am EST: Kent School (CT) vs. Nat. School of American Football (Ireland/UK), Parnell Park
4pm local / 11am EST / 10am CST: Oak Park High School (MT) vs. Villanova College (ON), Pairc Tailteann
7.30pm local / 2.30pm EST / 1.30pm CST: John Carroll University (OH) vs. St Norbert College (WI)
7.30pm local / 2.30pm EST / 11.30am PST: Notre Dame HS (CA) vs. Hamilton HS (AZ), Parnell Park
7.30pm local / 2.30pm EST / 11.30am PST: Notre Dame Prep (AZ) vs. Father Judge (PA), Pairc Tailteann
The economic impact figure is calculated by measuring payments made by 2,300 travelers visiting for the GIFT event and their anticipated spend while in Ireland, including:
Spend at stadium concessions
Visitors for the GIFT event will stay at the Citywest Hotel, Saggart; Bewleys, Leopardstown; Bewleys Newlands Cross; Green Isle, Newlands Cross; Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Newlands Cross; Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim; Royal Hotel, Bray and Newgrange Hotel, Navan. source
Jason writes for IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find him on twitter at @jayomahony