American football is set to return to Croke Park in 2016 despite the row which overshadowed this year’s edition when the GAA were forced to move the All-Ireland semi-final replay between Kerry and Mayo to Limerick.
TheScore.ie understands a deal is in place that will see Boston College host Georgia Tech at Headquarters though it is likely the game will be moved from the last weekend in August to avoid any repeat of the events of 2014.
The game will mark the third time in five years Dublin plays host to Division I college football after the Emerald Isle Classic between Notre Dame and Navy at the Aviva Stadium in 2012 and Penn State’s last-gasp victory over the University of Central Florida earlier this year.
Boston College and Georgia Tech have combined for five national titles and boast former players such as Matt Ryan, Doug Flutie (both BC), Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson and Demaryius Thomas (both GT). John Heisman – after whom the annual award for the best player in college football is named – is also a former coach of Georgia Tech.
While an exact date for the 2016 fixture has yet to be confirmed, both teams play in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and, with inter-conference games generally played mid-season, early October looks most likely for the 2016 game.
When contacted by TheScore.ie Boston College did not deny an agreement was in place but said it was too early to comment on any specific games.
“At this point our administration is reviewing many future scheduling options but it would be premature to speculate on specific dates or opponents.”
Calls to Croke Park have gone unreturned.