Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would do anything for Dan Rooney and that includes playing a game in Dublin, Ireland for the team owner.
“I would like it for him,” Roethlisberger told The Irish Examiner on Thursday. “That’s how much he means to me and I think everyone on our team would say that. Even if guys said they would never want to play in London, 100 percent of the guys on our team would say they would play in Dublin for Mr Rooney. I’d do it for him.”
Rooney, who recently served as the US Ambassador to Ireland, has been trying to get an NFL game to be played at Croke Park for years now and has suggested that the Steelers would even play in the game as long as they wouldn\’t have to give up a home game to do so as that would go against their Heinz Field lease.
League officials visited the Dublin stadium in 2012 and found the venue “very attractive” for an NFL game as it has a capacity of 82,500.
“We need stadiums that have availability in the middle of our season and the soccer season,” said Mark Waller, chief marketing officer of the NFL in 2012. “We also need them to be large, able to take the levels of hospitality and corporate entertainment that we generate. We looked long and hard before we came to play regular-season games at Wembley. Now we\’re looking seriously at playing two games internationally and, as we do that, Ireland and this venue in particular are very attractive to us.”
Notre Dame played Navy last September at Aviva Stadium in Dublin and more than 49,000 attended the game, although 35,000 of those were said to be American tourists.
With the NFL still trying to build their brand in London, we still might be a few years away from seeing a regular season game played in Ireland, but you can bet that Rooney will not be giving up on his dream any time soon.