GAA and GPA launch the Fenway Hurling Classic 2018
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), in conjunction with Aer Lingus and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) have today, Thursday September 27th, officially launched the Fenway Hurling Classic 2018 which will take place in Boston on November 18th.
All-Ireland hurling champions Limerick will compete for the Players Champions Cup in a Super 11’s format tournament against reigning holders Clare and new contenders in Cork and Wexford. The Fenway Hurling Classic will involve two semi-finals lasting 40 minutes with the winners proceeding to the final on the same day, Sunday November 18th. Players Seán Finn (Limerick), Peter Duggan (Clare), Patrick Horgan (Cork) and Lee Chin (Wexford) attended the launch of the event at Croke Park today and were accompanied by management personnel from the participating counties in Paul Kinnerk (Limerick), Gavin Keary (Clare), Kieran Murphy (Cork) and David Fitzgerald (Wexford).
Super 11’s is an 11-aside format of hurling. The Fenway Hurling Classic 2018 is a joint initiative by the GAA and GPA to make it easier for the game to travel to pastures new and provide a forum for experimentation and development. It was developed specifically by the GPA in conjunction with the GAA to allow hurling to be played in stadiums all over the world where the pitch size is smaller than a traditional hurling pitch. This year’s event will mark the third time in four years that Super 11s has been played in the iconic Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox.
The GAA and GPA are organising training sessions for players and referees in advance of the event to ensure that they are fully accustomed to the rules.
Aer Lingus will once again be the Official Airline of the event and will be responsible for flying the four teams to Boston. Aer Lingus is Ireland’s only 4-Star airline and has been involved in the two previous occasions that hurling has been played at Fenway Park in 2015 and 2017.
The event will begin at 12.30 p.m. ET and it will feature a lively Irish festival complete with food, music and dancing. Over 30,000 attended the event in 2017 and tickets are now on sale at www.redsox.com/hurling
Uachtarán CLG, Seán Ó hÓráin said: “Having experienced first hand the spectacle that is the Fenway Classic and the hugely entertaining game that is the Super 11s concept, I am pleased that we are returning to Boston with four of our top hurling teams, including All-Ireland champions Limerick and the defending champions from last year’s Fenway competition, Clare.
“I am also pleased to note the ongoing co-operation between the GAA and GPA in working together to organise the competition and bring some of the best traits of our great game to new audiences.”
GPA Chief Executive Officer, Paul Flynn said: "I am delighted that hurling is returning to Fenway Park. I experienced the games in 2017 as a spectator and found it a thoroughly enjoyable event. We feel proud to showcase the great game of hurling along with our outstanding players in one of the most iconic sports stadiums in the world".
Aer Lingus Director of Communications, Ruth Ranson commented: “We are delighted to have been part of what has turned out to be a huge success story from the beginning and to help bring the country’s leading hurling talent to perform in Ireland’s second capital city – Boston!
“We have a strong and ever-growing number of routes connecting Ireland to North America with two new routes announced earlier this month, bringing to 15 the number of destinations on our North American network as we continue the largest ever transatlantic expansion in the airline’s history, building toward our aim of being the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic.”