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

More in this Section

Why parting may suit both Gigginstown and Mullins

Shock split between  Willie Mullins and Gigginstown ‘basically over fees, I imagine’

IOC reprimands Irish fighters for gambling in Rio

Three could be magic number for O’Learys in All-Ireland Sailing Championships


Breaking Stories

Frustrated Man United just about manage to secure win against Zorya Luhansk

Dundalk secure historic win thanks to Ciaran Kilduff strike

Judging by Twitter, Dundalk looked better than Man Utd in the Europa League tonight

Southampton vow to help FA and Premier League in connection with Eric Black revelation

Lifestyle

Do advances in technology mean we're closer to finding alien life?

Space Week is an out of this world chance for families to experience the night sky

Wayfarers: A composition written as a response to the 1916 Rising

Angelina Jolie hiring the best divorce lawyer in the business - Laura Alison Wasser

More From The Irish Examiner