The Aer Lingus College Football Classic is an annual event held at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. You might be curious about the football part—it’s not an Irish or European sport after all, and it’s certainly not rugby! It’s a time when our two cultures can come together, overlap, where the Irish can experience the American sport firsthand. It’s also a time when American football teams can showcase their talent on a bigger scale, beyond their home fields.

This year’s matchup: Notre Dame vs. Navy. While the game is undoubtedly the main attraction, there are additional happenings such as tailgates, welcome parties and dinners for fans of both teams. Speaking of the fans, they came from all over the States—from California to Florida, Virginia to Michigan.

Here at Tenon, we love a good sporting event—and tailgate! For this year’s event, we offered exclusive game packages so our travelers could experience CFC in a totally unique way. Our packages included our own Tenon welcome party, tailgate, day tours and optional post-game extensions. Travelers had the opportunity to explore even more of Ireland by opting for our northern or southern tours. You could explore as little as three days or as long as 10. If you’re a football fan and a jet-setter, we can’t think of a better package for you!

As the game approached in August, we headed to Ireland with more than 100 of our travelers, the group consisting of folks that are everything from die-hard football fans to Notre Dame and Navy alumni (often alumni and die-hard fans are one and the same).

Two unique travelers were on their honeymoon during the event! Kirk and his wife, Vickie, combined their trip with the event, creating a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The pair, having traveled with us before, particularly appreciates partnering with us:

“Tenon is easy to work with and works for you. [They’re] not just trying to sell more stuff. Quick answers to questions and they work with you on your plans. Easy to change those plans if you find something else you want to do.”

Prior to the game, the couple and some friends explored Dublin, enjoying the cobblestone paths of Grafton Street, the charm of historic Irish pubs, the warm welcome of the locals and, of course, the infamous Guinness Storehouse.

“Dublin is a fantastic city. Plenty to do and see. Easy to get around with buses and trains. The pubs are a fantastic way to get to know the people.”

Game day was an incredible experience—there’s nothing quite like walking into Aviva Stadium with its sleek and modern design. It was built in a bowl-shape for many reasons, but some say especially to ensure there’s not a bad seat in the house. The crowd was buzzing with energy, everyone in either Navy or Notre Dame sports gear. While it was a riveting game, Notre Dame came out ahead 42-3.

The day after the game, our groups split off—some heading home, others embarking on various post tours to Belfast or south to Galway. Each group had a Tenon team member at the helm. Our Tenon groups explored the coasts and countrysides of Ireland, everything from Belfast to Derry, Kilkenny to Galway. Below are a few comments about the trip (and some photos)!

Gracie, our Tenon ambassador, kept us informed through the entire process. Transfers and tours and events were seamless.” – Mark

The staff, the outline of what to see and do and the amazing app made this so easy for us who have never been to Ireland.” – Michael

It was nice having a Tenon representative there in case something came up.” – Paul

Go NAVY!” – Anonymous

 

 

We have to give a big shout-out to our Tenon team who organized and led this amazing group! It’s safe to say the event was a touchdown success.

Ready to see the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets match up against the Florida State Seminoles on August 24, 2-24? We had such an amazing time, we’re ready to go back! Click the link below to explore our “fan”-tastic exclusive game packages. We hope to see you there!

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