AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival
AIG Insurance in Ireland, in conjunction with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), Aer Lingus and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) have today, Tuesday October 17th, officially launched the second edition of the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival.
Taking place in Boston on November 19th, Dublin’s hurlers, of whom AIG are the official sponsors, will take on Leinster, League and All-Ireland champions Galway, and there will be a clash of champions in the other semi-final as 2016 All-Ireland champions Tipperary take on 2016 league champions Clare with both winners proceeding to a final with a chance of being the first team to claim the Players Champions Cup in a Super 11’s format. Newly appointed manager, Pat Gilroy and players Eoghan O’Donnell (Dublin), Johnny Coen (Galway), Michael Cahill (Tipperary), and David Fitzgerald (Clare) attended the launch event at Croke Park today to mark the countdown to the game.
Super 11s, which has been devised by the GPA in collaboration with the GAA, is an eleven aside format of hurling. It was developed specifically to allow hurling to be played in stadiums and venues all over the world where the pitch size is smaller than the traditional hurling pitch. Training sessions to ensure the players become fully accustomed to the rules will be organised by the GAA and GPA in advance of the trip.
Similar to 2015, TG4 are on board as official broadcast partners, and will be showing both semi-finals and the final live across their channel. Aer Lingus have once again shown their commitment to the event by supplying flights for all travelling teams as official Airline partner.
General Manager at AIG Ireland, Declan O’Rourke commented: “AIG in Ireland is delighted to be bringing hurling back to the United States in 2017 after a successful 2015 event.
“Hurling is a unique and wonderful part of our culture, played with great passion and skill for thousands of years. It gives us great pride to share our exciting games at the highest level with the people of Boston again in November.
“Thanks to our partners for their continued support, without them this event would not be possible. I would also like to give a special mention to the players and thank them for taking the time to be with us today. We look forward to meeting them again in Boston.”
GPA Chief Executive Officer, Dermot Earley said: “After an immensely successful event in 2015, we are delighted that hurling is coming back to Boston and Fenway Park as four counties compete for the inaugural Players Champions Cup.
“Playing our games in iconic sports venues like Fenway Park further promotes the growth and interest of our games in the United States and worldwide and our players are looking forward to the opportunity of taking part in this historic event.”
Speaking on behalf of the GAA, Feargal McGill, Director of Player, Club & Games Administration said: “It is encouraging to see the interest and impact our national games can have overseas and we’re delighted to be involved in this event for that reason. The growth of Gaelic Games abroad and the fact that we have more than 400 GAA Clubs operating outside of Ireland is something we are proud of and eager to build on. Bringing hurling to what is widely recognised as an Irish city outside Ireland will be a great celebration of Irish culture.
“It will be an occasion to remember on November 19th with four excellent teams from Dublin, Tipperary, Clare and newly crowned All-Ireland champions Galway taking to the pitch in Fenway Park to demonstrate the best skills of our great game.”
Aer Lingus Director of Communications, Declan Kearney said: “Aer Lingus are thrilled to once again be supporting the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival. In 2015, a packed Fenway Park got a flavour of one of our native games. The atmosphere was electrifying and we are expecting that and more again this year.
“We look forward to welcoming the Galway, Dublin, Clare and Tipperary Hurling teams on board our Boston services in November as they make their way to Fenway for what promises to be a memorable event.
The travelling party will depart with Aer Lingus from Dublin Airport on Friday November 17th.
To date, more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for this exciting event. It’s anticipated that tickets will sell out, making the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival one of the biggest hurling attractions between now and the start of the 2018 Hurling Championship. For more details and for ticket information, please visit www.redsox.com/hurling.