Georgia Tech and Florida State University have been revealed as the two teams set to contest the 2024 edition of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday, 24th August 2024.

With over 20,000 people expected to travel to Dublin from America for the highly anticipated clash between two leading US colleges, research from Fáilte Ireland and Grant Thornton estimates that the Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2024 fixture will be worth €69 million to the Irish economy.

The 2024 game will be the third consecutive American college football game held in Ireland since the game series was announced and the eighth Division 1 College Football game to be played in Ireland.

The ambition of the series to become a ‘forever’ fixture in Dublin was thwarted by COVID but this year’s game between Notre Dame and Navy is already sold out and last year’s between Nebraska and Northwestern was the most watched sports programme on US Network TV on the day it was held with seven million viewers tuning in across Fox and ESPN.

The announcement of this year’s event took place in Atlanta, Georgia last night and at an event in Dublin featuring partners including Aer Lingus, Grant Thornton, Dublin City Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

As is now the norm, the 2024 game will be the opening fixture for the College Football season and is an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) game. The game is played on “Week Zero” and is to be televised on ESPN to an estimated 4 million plus US live audience.

Georgia Tech will return to Ireland next year for the second time since 2016 when they defeated Boston College by 17 points to 14 in the Aviva Stadium.

In 2024 the Yellow Jackets will hope to call on Ireland’s own David Shanahan, a member of the 2017 Kerry panel that won the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.

Shanahan is studying at Georgia Tech, and is a punter, on the team. During his first football season at Georgia Tech, he appeared in all 12 games and handled all 61 of Georgia Tech’s punts despite having never played in an American Football game prior to this. He is the first Irishman ever to receive a full scholarship to play American college football.

Florida State University, known as the Seminoles, will play their first game in Ireland next year. The three-time National Champions are one of American college football’s most widely supported teams, playing their home matches at the 79,560-capacity Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida.

“The Aer Lingus College Football Classic is fast becoming a popular fixture in the Irish sporting calendar, with supporters from America, Ireland and beyond gathering in Dublin to enjoy the atmosphere and high-quality college football,” said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

“The game will provide a huge boost to tourism and hospitality in Ireland and we look forward to welcoming the teams and supporters of Georgia Tech and Florida State University to the Aviva Stadium in August 2024.”

“Our sponsorship of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic provides us with a unique opportunity to drive awareness of the Aer Lingus brand in our key North American market as well as in our home market,” added Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton.

“Aer Lingus has a proud history of connecting Ireland to the US for almost 65 years and we are committed to continuing to grow our long-haul network connecting Ireland and Europe to North America through our Dublin Hub.”

“Next year’s fixture, which will see the welcome return of Georgia Tech and the first visit of Florida State, will be the third consecutive season-opening game of the US College Football Season cementing Dublin’s position as the European Headquarters of College Football,” said Padraic O’Kane of Irish American Events, co-founders and promoters of the game.

“This fixture will attract 20,000 plus US visitors staying on average seven nights throughout Ireland, in addition to four million plus live US TV audience via ESPN showcasing Ireland at its very best on a global stage.”

“A full program of leisure, business, academic and sporting events will take place throughout game-week 2024 as part of the “Much More than a Game” steering committee enterprises”.