GAA Director General Páraic Duffy explains when answering the third media question how Global Football president Patrick Steenberge helped put the wheels in motion for Penn State to take part in the Croke Park Classic.
Duffy said: “Patrick Steenberge, who is here with us, a good friend of ours, a former Notre Dame player, has been bringing high school teams to Ireland for the past number of years and it kind of emerged in discussions really.
“We had actually been hoping to have an NFL game in Croke Park and Ambassador Rooney had been giving us some assistance in that regard. We didn’t quite manage to convince the NFL. They have two games in London at the moment. We wanted them to bring a game to Dublin. We worked very hard on that. Didn’t quite succeed despite the best efforts and support we had from Ambassador Rooney.
“So then we turned our attention to a college game and it was Patrick in fact who suggested Penn State and we then approached UCF through Todd (Stansbury, UCF Director of Athletics).
“Over the past few months they came to Dublin in June to have a look at the stadium, came back again at the end of August when they saw our own games being played and had a good look around and we’re really happy with the two schools that are coming. I think that both Central Florida and Penn State are two great schools to come to Dublin. We think it’s a really attractive fixture.”