A BBC News report today talked about the Steelers possibly soon playing a regular season game in Croke Park located in Dublin, Ireland. The BBC spoke with the US Ambassador to Ireland (and former Steeler ringleader) Dan Rooney about the return of the Black and Gold to the Emerald Isle.
"‘…I think sometime very soon it will happen and I think the commissioner is interested in working something out and, sure, I’d like to see the Steelers involved.’ – Dan Rooney"
According to Rooney, he’s bee lobbying Goodell already for something like this noting how popular the regular season game in London is – tickets usually sell out within moment of going on sale. Dan Rooney, of course, does not have the final say in whether the Steelers will play over sees any time in the near future let alone back to the place where he was just a twinkle in Ma and Pa Rooneys’ eyes. For any of these international games to take place, all 32 team owners, aside from the Commish, need to agree on a city.
Aside from the political logistics that need to take place in order for the Steelers to return to Ireland, the league must also find a suitable venue to play the game in. The Steelers and Bears played in Croke Park back in 1997 as part of the American Bowl Series . Mark Waller, chief marketing officer of the NFL, is very impressed with Croke Park as a potential site.
‘We’re looking seriously at playing two games internationally and, as we do that, Ireland and this venue [Croke Park] in particular are very attractive to us’ – Mark Waller
So, thought it’s no official, the potential of a Steelers vs. Team X in Ireland during the regular season isn’t far from reality. If Dan Rooney can play Ambassador to not only Ireland, but also Goodell and the rest of the NFL, then we could very soon see the Steelers back dancing with leprechauns and searching for gold. At least they won’t have Greg Lloyd around the next time to insult the people of Ireland.