The NFL might be playing a regular season game in Ireland in the near future in attempt to spread the reach of the game further, but the Pittsburgh Steelers will likely not be playing in that game if it involves losing a home game. It was reported today that the league has moved a step closer to playing a game at Ireland after a NFL delegation inspected Croke Park, a prime location in central Dublin with a tradition that is steeped in history.
US Ambassador to Ireland and Steelers president Dan Rooney is a prime player in this game taking place in Ireland and reportedly the delegation is happy with what they saw during their visit. Rooney said the Steelers would be unable to surrender a home game to play in Dublin, but he is still hopeful his franchise could be one of the two teams involved in the game.
Rooney was quoted as saying in the report, “I of course would like it to be the Steelers, but it could be anyone else. The league does want it to be successful, so they would try it with the big teams that would generate the interest,” he said. “I think the Steelers would generate the interest here, but then I am a little biased.”
The Steelers likely have it in their Heinz Field lease that they must play a certain amount of games each season at their home stadium, but this is not to say that another opponent on their future schedule might be able to give up their home date to play the Steelers in Ireland. I am sure we will be hearing about this more over the course of the next several days or weeks. It sure would be great if it happened and very rewarding to the Rooney family as well.