The Eagles of Boston College will kick off their 2016 football season in Dublin on Sept. 3 against the formidable Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech. The game in Aviva Stadium will mark the BC team’s second visit to Ireland; in 1988 the Eagles defeated , 38-24, in front of a crowd of 42,000 in the old Lansdowne Road stadium. It is expected that 25,000 fans will travel from the US and Europe to take in the event this fall.
The Aer Lingus College Football Classic is an encompassing event. With thousands of US and European travelers coming to Ireland, a number of me events will surrounding the game itself, including: Dublin City Fanzone, a Boston College pep rally, a Georgia Tech pep rally, pre-game tailgates, business and academic forums, networking events, a president’s lunch on game day, and social outreach / service projects in local communities.
Aviva Stadium is located in Dublin. It has a capacity of 51,700 and 48,000 for American Football. It was built on the site of the former Lansdowne Road stadium, which was demolished in 2007. It is home to the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Republic of Ireland national football team.
The game is being organized by a new entity called Irish American Events Limited (IAEL), a joint venture between Corporate.ie and Anthony Travel, both of which have been involved in the recent college football games in Ireland.
Warren Zola, the executive director of the Boston College Chief Executives Club, has announced that it will sponsor the inaugural Boston College Chief Executives Club Global Forum in Dublin on Sept. 2. “Both Boston College and the city of Boston have deep roots in Ireland,” said Zola. “Given the history and tradition, it seems only natural to re-engage these two communities, and to do so by strengthening those business communities.”
The forum will include a panel discussion on a relevant issue of the day, such as the use of technology in developing a global economy. Past CEO Club speakers will join current members in an audience of prominent business leaders from Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Boston College began as a small commuter school for Irish immigrants, and today is recognized as a leading global university,” said Zola. “Likewise, the Boston College Chief Executives Club is growing from the country’s premier speaking forum to one recognized on the global stage. I am thrilled to take advantage of this incredible opportunity on behalf of our members, and to continue to promote the prestige of the Carroll School of Management.”
Neil Naughton, chairman of the Irish Steering Committee and deputy chairman of the Glen Dimplex Group, noted that Irish sponsors of the game see the Aer Lingus Football Classic as a means to develop connections and relationships between the Irish and New England business communities. In this setting, he said, “the Boston College Chief Executives Club luncheon will be eagerly anticipated by the business community in Ireland.”