Wembley Steel Croker’s thunder but for how long?

Croke Park will not host an American Football game in 2013 but both Croke Park and the US ambassador to Ireland are confident the venue will host a regular season game soon.

Wembley will be home to the Minnesota Vikings when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 29 while the Jacksonville Jaguars welcome the San Francisco 49ers to London on October 27.

However, American ambassador to Ireland and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney told Irish pigskin fans not to be too disappointed.

“This region has many NFL fans,” he said. “The games that have been played in London have been exciting, with big crowds. I feel that playing a game in Ireland would add to the area’s great interest.

“The NFL Commissioner [Roger Goodell] is anxious to keep the interest strong in this region. I’m sure that there will be other great games and that Ireland will be the site of a match.”

Croke Park’s stadium director Peter McKenna echoed those sentiments and admitted he will continue lobbying the NFL for a game.

“Obviously we’re disappointed with that but the decision is with the NFL and I think you have to respect that.

“The decision is to run the two games in Wembley. You can see some merit in that. It builds on the success they’ve had hosting American football in Wembley.

“I think our bid stands on its own and we’re still going to continue to lobby and push for Dublin as being a venue in the future.

“Part of the pitch is that we’ve been very successful in hosting major events as a country heretofore. You’ve got the Tour de France, Tall Ships, the Ryder Cup and the collegiate game that was held in the Aviva. They’ve all shown that large international sports fixtures can be held here and held very, very successfully. So I think the merits of our bid haven’t diminished.

“We were unfortunate this time but never say never.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Maria Sharapova wins Stuttgart opener after serving doping ban

Ding Junhui inflicts maximum punishmenton Ronnie O'Sullivan

Strong Irish team heads for World Cup event in Serbia

Magees not carried away by European Badminton Championships win


Breaking Stories

Marouane Fellaini sees red in goalless Manchester Derby

Bundee Aki hit with three-game ban after admitting misconduct charge

Ireland could become Test nation in cricket by end of June

John O'Shea admits Sunderland face toughest escape bid yet

Lifestyle

Looking back in time with Dennis Dinneen's pictures

Four events to check out at the Cork International Choral Festival today

With bikini season beckoning please forget about quick fixes ...

Take a load off: Two people tell their individual weight loss journeys

More From The Irish Examiner