Seven American high school teams, two Canadian teams, two DIV III college and one British All Star team will play across thee venues in Ireland on August 31st. In what is the largest gathering of US American football teams to ever play outside of the 50 states, GIFT 2012 will be a fantastic warm up to the college game between Notre Dame and Navy in the Aviva the next day.
Donnybrook Stadium will host a Division III college game between John Carroll University, whose alum include Hall of Famer Don Schula, from Ohio and St Norbert College of Wisconsin kicking off at 7.30pm. John Carroll, coached by Regis Scafe, went 5-5 last season while St. Norbert finished 2011 7-3.
At 4pm that day high school teams Loyola Academy, perennial IHSA playoff participants from Illinois, and Jesuit Prep from Texas will face off.
In Parnell Park, Notre Dame HS out of California and Hamilton HS from Arizona will open their 2012 high school football season at 7.30pm. The 4pm kick off will see Kent School from Connecticut will take on a team representing the National School of American Football. The NASF team will be made up of players from Ireland and the UK and will be coached by London Warriors head coach Tony Allen.
Pairc Tailteann in Meath will also host two games that Friday. Notre Dame Prep from Arizona and Father Judge High School will play at 7.30pm. At 4pm two Canadian teams will play each other using Canadian rules, Oak Park HS from Winnipeg go up against Villanove College from Ontario.
Tickets, which are available from Tickets.ie/GIFT2012, are €15 for adults, free for children under 12 and €10 for students (available at individual stadia). With fans expected to travel from 13 US states, Canada, Austria, Germany, and even Australia Global Football are estimating GIFT 2012 could be worth about €4.5m to the Irish economy.
Global Football also announced today that all 6 games will be available to stream to viewers who can’t make the trip. A package offering all six games live and available on-demand following the GIFT 2012 event will be available through GIFT2012.com priced $19.95 and fans will also be able to order games in advance.
It looks like August is lining up to be a great week for Irish fans of American football.