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Penn State-UCF game a pot of gold for Irish economy

Penn State arrives in Dublin, August 27, 2014

It appears that Icelandic volcano will allow the Penn State-Central Florida game to be played Saturday in Dublin, and that’s a very good thing for the Irish economy.

Peter McKenna, director of Croke Park Stadium, where the Nittany Lions and Knights will meet Saturday, told that the game should bring 20,000 visitors and roughly 30 million euros which, Google’s handy dollar-euro convertor tells me equates to roughly $39.5 million.

McKenna’s estimation is based on an average stay of three to five days, and each tourist spending anywhere from $395 (300 euros) to $527 (400 euros) per day. “I think the real figure will be far higher than that,” McKenna told the paper. “The city is going to get really wound up.”

The 2012 game between Notre Dame and Navy, played in Aviva Stadium before 48,820 fans, generated a reported $131 million for the Irish economy. Former Ireland minister for transport tourism and sport Leo Varadkar told that the Penn State-UCF game (8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2) is “every bit as important” to the Irish economy as the Notre Dame-Navy game two years ago.

McKenna says his group is using the same as a marketing informercial to a captive American audience. “It’s going to be on early in the morning, no other games are going to be on, and Dublin is going to be showcased to millions of Americans,” he said. “They’ll say ‘Wow, what a great place. Let’s put that on my bucket list.'”

Joyce Polan, manager of Dublin’s Woolshed Pub, sums up the Irish attitude toward their American visitors with a perfect quote. “We love Americans here,” Polan said. “They eat tons of chicken wings.”

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3 Responses to “Penn State-UCF game a pot of gold for Irish economy”
  1. bonnovi says: Aug 28, 2014 4:17 PM

    Do all the “Visit Ireland” commercials on ESPN have something to do with this?

  2. lbijake says: Aug 28, 2014 6:36 PM

    That is good. A win-win- win situation. Ireland makes money, Central Florida gets additional exposure and the Penn State players get the equivalent of a bowl game trip.

  3. navyeoddavee9 says: Aug 28, 2014 9:01 PM

    5:30 am start time on the west coast, makes no sense, I know it’s a 8 hr time difference, but a 9am start, would make more sense, even 8:30 am start, back east is early

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