Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II confident of playing game in Ireland | NFL News

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Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II has made clear his desire to bring a game to Ireland in the near future, having last played in Dublin in 1997; The Steelers acquired marketing rights in Ireland earlier this year as part of the league’s Global Markets Program

Last updated: 09/13/23 at 8:12 pm

After playing a preseason game at Croke Park in 1997, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II admitted he would like to return to Ireland for another game at some point.

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After playing a preseason game at Croke Park in 1997, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II admitted he would like to return to Ireland for another game at some point.

After playing a preseason game at Croke Park in 1997, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II admitted he would like to return to Ireland for another game at some point.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are on their way to Ireland. If not now, then not far from now.

In many ways they’re already there, as this summer they amplified their deep Irish roots by acquiring the rights to raise their brand on the Emerald Isle as part of the NFL’s ‘Global Markets Programme’.

The Steelers remain the only team to have played a game in Ireland after famously meeting the Chicago Bears in a pre-season contest at Croke Park in 1997.

Their presence in the country has stood the test of time with ease, as evidenced most recently by the opening viewing party at Croke Park for their November 19 matchup with the Cleveland Browns that sold out in one day.

Let that be just the beginning.

Sky Sports NFL's Neil Reynolds and Phoebe Scheckter are presented with Daniel Rooney's Steelers jerseys

Sky Sports NFL’s Neil Reynolds and Phoebe Scheckter are presented with Daniel Rooney’s Steelers jerseys

“The Rooney family immigrated from Ireland in the 1800s, so there is a long history and connection,” says owner Art Rooney II. Sky Sports.

“My grandparents came over on my mother’s side in the 1920s, so a lot of relatives still live in Ireland, and we come back and visit them from time to time.

“Of course, my father (Dan Rooney) became ambassador to Ireland, so he had a lot of great connections there.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to have a bigger presence in Ireland and I feel like we have a built-in group of fans there with relatives and friends over the years, so we’re very excited about that.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in Croke Park.  Pictured is Steelers Director of Business Development and Strategy Daniel Rooney

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in Croke Park. Pictured is Steelers Director of Business Development and Strategy Daniel Rooney

“We definitely want to play a game there again sometime soon, whether it’s a preseason game or a regular season game, we haven’t been able to narrow that down yet, but we’ll get there and it’ll be exciting.”

Former two-time Super Bowl champion Max Starks believes the league’s exponential growth on the international stage will pave the way for an eventual return to Ireland.

As far as interest is concerned, the annual Aer Lingus College Football Classic, which celebrates the start of week zero of the college season, is compelling evidence that there is a demand for more football.

Two-time Super Bowl champion Max Starks believes his former team Pittsburgh could play in Ireland again in the future

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Two-time Super Bowl champion Max Starks believes his former team Pittsburgh could play in Ireland again in the future

Two-time Super Bowl champion Max Starks believes his former team Pittsburgh could play in Ireland again in the future

“I love this opportunity, because you think about the Steelers historically, we’ve actually played in four countries,” Starks said. Sky Sports. “We’ve played in Japan, Mexico City and Dublin before.

“When you look at the international growth of the sport, I think the Rooney family particularly enjoys the family ties in Ireland, which is a big point.

“They had a business summit there and the NFL’s Global Markets Program has been making an effort to reach out and do more. It’s a huge undertaking but the Steelers have that drive and obviously the late Dan Rooney was a foreign ambassador to Ireland under the Obama administration; There are a lot of deep relationships.

“It would be great. To be able to go to Germany now and play a few games in London, especially with Jacksonville, so it’s not far-fetched to think you can get to Ireland as well.”

“We know what that support is. I think it’s something that could happen in the future.”

San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers highlights from Week 1 of the NFL season

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San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers highlights from Week 1 of the NFL season

San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers highlights from Week 1 of the NFL season

In a perfect world, the Steelers could have figured they would eventually return to their Irish homeland as Super Bowl champions.

Pittsburgh has gone more than a decade without a trip to the NFL Finals.

Rooney added: “It will be great, it’s been a very long time for us, we want to get back out there and win again.”

“We’re excited to have Mike (Tomlin) as our coach. He does a great job year after year and the players love playing with him. It’ll be great to get back out there and win a title.”



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