Croke Park Classic

The Croke Park Classic saw the University of Central Florida host Penn State in their 2014 Season Opener in GAA HQ on the 30th August 2014.

This big season opener for UCF and Penn State  was the first time that UCF and Penn State have played outside the United States.

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The Croke Park Classic will see the University of Central Florida (UCF) host Penn State in their 2014 Season Opener in GAA HQ on the 30th August 2014. This is the first time UCF and Penn State have played outside the United States.

2013 was a busy year for both teams with UCF completing the most successful season in their history and winning the American Athletics conference outright and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.  The Croke Park Classic will also be the first competitive fixture for Penn State Head Coach James Franklin.

The teams will compete for the Dan Rooney Trophy named after a key player in the GAA’s redevelopment plans for Croke Park in the early nineties. The trophy is made of bog yew and Pittsburgh steel.  The yew comes from what remains of forests which grew 4,200 years ago in the Irish midlands. The steel is from Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

To see the full weekend of events from 28th to 31st of August featuring the Pep Rallies, Tailgate Party, Riverdance Ceili and much more, check out the GridIron Guide Dublin.

The House of Waterford Crystal will provide the Croke Park Classic Coaches Award which will be presented at the end of the game. The trophy was designed and hand crafted at the Waterford factory in Ireland and is a Crystal replica of an American Football helmet.

An extensive schedule of events has been launched around the game by Stadium Director Peter McKenna and Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke.  

Temple bar will become a Croke Park Classic fanzone over the weekend from Thursday August 28th to Sunday August 31st providing travelling fans and locals with an area to mix and mingle and get behind their chosen teams.  Croke Park will be transformed for the American Fooball spectacle and the city fanzone activities will include the team pep rallies and tailgate party in Temple Bar. Thousands of tourists from America, the UK and Europe will flock to the city to watch these colleges face off in the first game of the season.  Dublin bus will offer a complimentary shuttle service from Temple Bar to Croke Park to take fans from the tailgate to the game.  

Ahead of the Croke Park Classic on August 30th, the Dublin Rebels gave an American Football demonstration to kids taking part in the Kilmacud Crokes GAA Camp. The Croke Park Classic game spectacle will be a full days entertainment for all the family featuring parachute jumps, the Penn State marching band, Extreme Rhythm, The Dublin Gospel Choir, cheerleaders, team mascots and the Hurling Super 11’s. There is an amazing €50 August Family Ticket Offer (2 Adults and 2 Children) available for the event.

The first in a range of events happening around the Croke Park Classic was the Knights Without Borders community project which saw 10 UCF student athletes travel to Dublin to work with Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Croke Park staff to help renovate the Lourdes Community Hall close to the stadium.

A UNESCO Symposium on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership Through Sport will take place at the Croke Park Conference Centre on Thursday 28th August... READ MORE

To coincide with Croke Park Classic events, Ronald McDonald House are organising a Croke Park Golf Classic which will take place in Druids Glen Golf Resort on Friday 29th of August... READ MORE

The Global Irish Football Tournament (GIFT) will also take place around the event... READ MORE. They recently announced that Kyle Brady will serve as honorary Chairman for the tourmament.  

Riverdance, the world famous Irish Dance phenomenon will host a free Céilí at the CHQ building on North Wall Quay, Dublin 1, on Sunday the 31st August. The session begins at 10:30am and will finish at 12 noon.

ESPN Player will stream the Croke Park Classic live...READ MORE

If you are travelling to Dublin, check out what else to do while you are here... READ MORE