American Football is again coming to Ireland with a game between Georgia Tech and Boston College in 2016. Part of the contract states that the student players will get Garda escorts.
The game is being organised by Irish American Events Limited and is considered a home game for Boston. It will take place in the Aviva stadium in September 2016 with tickets expected to be around €30.
The news about the guaranteed Garda escort for the student players came to light as part of an open-records request in the US. The Georgia Tech contract alone includes
- a charter flight for the teams and the associated support (including 70 piece band and cheerleaders)
- 121 rooms and suite at a minimum four-star hotel
- bus transportation
- up to two cultural activities
- 300 complimentary tickets
- Garda escorts to and from the airport, practices, and the game itself.
It’s not stated who is paying for the Garda escorts. Irish American Events Limited is a private company and they and the teams expect to make significant money from the event. Aer Lingus is the main sponsor.
In fact it’s not really clear why they need Garda escorts. Of course these won’t be the first students to get a Garda escort – Limerick student Ian Fitzhenry got one to his leaving cert exam last month.
This is not the first College game in Ireland, Dublin has hosted college football games in 2012 and 2014. Both were a great success and players and fans alike had a great time while they also brought excitement to the city. Here’s what the atmosphere is like.
What do you think? Is this reasonable? Who should pay?