Dalata Hotel Group have been confirmed as the official hotel partner of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic series.

Dublin’s Clayton Hotel Burlington Road will house the Northwestern University Football team and become one of the official Northwestern fan hotels located throughout the city.

Other Dalata-operated properties, including the Clayton and Maldron Hotels, will be promoted as official Northwestern and Nebraska fan hotels. Clayton Hotel Burlington Road will also welcome a team for the remainder of the series each year.

The game, which takes place on August 27th in the Aviva Stadium, is expected to generate a massive €63million for the Irish economy.

This is the first time that either Northwestern University or the University of Nebraska have ever traveled to play in Ireland.

As both teams are part of the famed Big Ten Conference, over 15,000 U.S. and 5,000 European fans are expected to travel for the game which will prove a significant international, post-covid event for Ireland.

The series principal stakeholders are Aer Lingus, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council.

“We are delighted to partner with Dalata Hotel Group on this exciting proposition,” said Brendan Meehan, Commercial Director of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.

“We are excited about the opportunities this partnership offers us. It is wonderful to have Dalata on board as another like-minded private partner to complement our existing private partners, including our title sponsor Aer Lingus.”

Des McCann, Dalata Hotel Group Chief Operating Officer will join the Steering Committee of the game series as part of the partnership.

“Having Des’ experience and knowledge on the Steering Committee will help with our goal of establishing Dublin as the European home of US College Football and ensuring the first game of the College Football Season is played in Dublin forever more,” added Meehan.

“It is a great opportunity for Dalata Hotel Group as the largest hotel group in Ireland to be the official hotel partner with such a great event,” said McCann.

“We are delighted to be showcasing our great Irish hospitality and strengthening our relationships with the U.S.”

“We are counting down the days now until we travel to Ireland and kick off the 2022 college football season in Dublin,” said Pat Fitzgerald, Head Football Coach with the Northwestern Wildcats.

“Our staff has been hard at work behind-the-scenes to ensure a first-class experience for our student-athletes, and the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road is a key component. Situated in an amazing downtown location within walking distance of the Aviva Stadium, with ample meeting space and outstanding amenities, it will be a tremendous home-away-from-home for our team and Wildcats fans.”

The Aer Lingus College Football Classic game series is a successful and proactive public-private collaboration. The five-game series is estimated to be worth €413million to the Irish economy according to Grant Thornton and Fáilte Ireland and will prove a timely and welcome boost to the Irish hospitality and tourism industries over the next number of years.

Whilst these games will greatly benefit Ireland, the “Much More Than A Game” initiative will also help to further showcase the strength of the Irish American bilateral relations. The games offer huge publicity potential, practical economic benefits, and a genuine expression of the close ties between Ireland and the U.S.

Join us as the countdown continues as we touchdown with regular updates on what will likely be one of the main sporting events of the summer.


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