Variety of travel packages offered for Penn State football trip to Ireland

July 16, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State faithful interested in securing their tickets for the Nittany Lions' historic appearance in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin on Aug. 30, 2014, can select from a variety of travel packages to Ireland.

The Official Penn State Tour, presented by the Penn State Alumni Association and the Nittany Lion Club, provides alumni, members, students and fans an opportunity to discover Ireland's rich history, unique traditions and scenic beauty - as well as attend the Nittany Lions' first international game. The contest vs. UCF will kick at 1:30 p.m. at Croke Park. Game tickets are currently only available through the Official Penn State Tour.

Fans considering traveling to the Emerald Isle for the Croke Park Classic should heed travel advice to plan ahead. Many travel and tourism experts anticipate an influx of American tourists to Ireland surrounding the game. Fans may select from a host of city tours ranging in length from four to eight days.

Packages include accommodations at three-, four- or five-star hotels, game tickets, an exclusive private party at the world-famous Guinness Storehouse, excursion tours, gameday transportation, a full Irish breakfast each morning and much more. In addition to these package inclusions, Anthony Travel the tour partner, will offer special rates on airfare through Aer Lingus, Ireland's national airline.

Game tickets are currently only available by purchasing an Official Penn State tour package provided by Anthony Travel. Those fans purchasing an official package prior to Dec. 31, 2013 will be assigned seats based on Nittany Lion Club priority points. For fans who are not NLC members, seating will be determined by the date the travel package was purchased.

After Dec. 31, 2013, game ticket assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. All tickets will be allocated in the official Penn State seating sections. For complete information on travel packages to this historic game, visit

An unspecified number of individual game tickets in other areas of the stadium (not in the Penn State sections) may be available at a later date. The only way to assure seating in the Penn State sections is via the Official Tour packages.

Penn State will be playing its first international game since the program's 1887 inception when it meets UCF at Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). There have been only seven prior American football games in Ireland; four involving Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs. The last game hosted in Croke Park was in 1996 when Notre Dame played Navy.

"The collaboration and friendly connections between UCF, Penn State and Ireland are very significant," said Dave Joyner, Penn State Director of Athletics, who led the Nittany Lions' delegation to Dublin this past weekend. "The family and "One Team" feel in Ireland is amazing. This is a game and experience that is well beyond just a college football game. It is about a country embracing us and joining together with us for a great International exchange and experience. Penn State fans are going to love their time in Ireland around the 2014 season opener."

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien worked with UCF coach George O'Leary at Georgia Tech. O'Brien was a member of O'Leary's staff from 1995-2001 and they helped the Yellow Jackets win the 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

"We are thrilled to announce that we will play UCF at Croke Park to open the 2014 season, " said O'Brien, the 2012 Maxwell Football Club and Big Ten Coach of the Year. "Our players and coaches are so excited to go to Ireland and play a college football game in such a historic and outstanding venue. I have great respect for Coach O'Leary and his team and playing UCF in Ireland will be a fantastic experience for all the players, coaches and fans."

The 2012 Navy-Notre Dame game in Dublin is believed to have added €100m (approximately $130 million) to the Irish economy and contributed to the 1.6 percent rise in Tourism Ireland's figures for August - October 2012 (CSO)

Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: "This will be a fantastic event for Croke Park and for Ireland. The Navy vs. Notre Dame game in 2012 welcomed 35,000 U.S. visitors to Dublin. The 'Croke Park Classic' will be every bit as important, and just as exciting, and both teams are guaranteed a warm welcome. It's great news for sports fans, for the GAA and the wider economy. I congratulate everyone involved on making this possible."

Penn State will be the first Big Ten Conference team to play internationally since Michigan State and Wisconsin met in Tokyo in 1993. The other only current Big Ten football team to have competed internationally was Nebraska, who also played in Tokyo (in 1992) when the Cornhuskers were members of the Big 8 Conference.

Penn State opens the 2013 season vs. Syracuse on August 31 (3:30 p.m.) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. For details on the Penn State pep rally at MetLife Stadium and other away game events, visit

The Nittany Lions will host five bowl teams from 2012, including three teams that finished in the BCS Top 25: Michigan (Oct. 12-Homecoming, 5 p.m), Nebraska (Nov. 23) and Kent State (Sept. 21). UCF (Sept. 14, 6 p.m.), Purdue (Nov. 16), Illinois (Nov. 2) and Eastern Michigan (Sept. 7, noon) also will visit Beaver Stadium this fall.

For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets and for the Syracuse game, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 16, 2013