If the Pittsburgh Steelers were to get their way, the next European location for NFL games may be Dublin, Ireland.
Visiting Croke Park to speak about the Steelers’ “Global Markets Program” partnership with Ireland, director of business development and strategy Daniel Rooney said the team has a “long-term” goal of playing a regular-season game on the Emerald Isle.
“The first focus is to bring the Steelers to the people of Ireland,” Rooney said, per the team website. “We are going to try and reach all 32 counties. Our aspirations long-term are to play a game in Ireland. As we move through the process, we’ll be evaluating all options.”
The ties between the Steelers and Ireland run deep. The Rooney family founded the team, and former team executive and owner Dan M. Rooney served as President Obama’s ambassador to Ireland from 2019-12.
In 1997 Croke Park was the site of a preseason game between the Steelers and Chicago Bears, but Ireland has yet to host a regular-season game. The league has taken regular-season games to London, Toronto, Mexico City and Munich and will play two games in Frankfurt, Germany in 2023.
The Steelers took advantage of an expansion of the NFL’s “Global Markets” program, which awards teams marketing rights in foreign countries. The Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars were awarded rights to the Republic of Ireland in 2022; Pittsburgh also received marketing rights in Northern Ireland.
On the college football front, Northwestern recorded a 31-28 win over Nebraska last August in a Big Ten game in Dublin.
Florida State and Georgia Tech are scheduled to kick off the 2024 season in Dublin.