AIG Insurance to sponsor the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic & Irish Festival in Boston. Dublin to play Galway at the world famous Fenway Park.
AIG Insurance in Ireland, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) have today, Wednesday September 15th, proudly announced details of the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival to be held in Boston at the end of November. Dublin’s hurlers, of whom AIG are the official sponsors, will take on Galway, who recently lined out against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Hurling Final, on Sunday, on November 22nd at 1pm local time, 8am Irish time.
Launch events took place at Croke Park and Fenway Park today to mark the count down to the game.
The AIG Fenway Hurling Classic has been in the planning stages for months and has the full support of the GAA, the GPA, both the Dublin and Galway county boards, the North American GAA board and FSM. Aer Lingus, the official airline partner of Dublin GAA and the official travel partner of the GPA, are also backing the match and will provide flights for the entire travelling party.
The game will form part of an Irish Festival at Fenway Park on that weekend where all aspects of Irish culture and music will be celebrated. It will be played the day after Boston College take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at Fenway Park in a much anticipated college football game.
Super 11s, which is was the brainchild of the GPA, is an eleven aside format of traditional 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. Only goals can be scored in the adapted game. 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.
It will be the first time since November of 1954 that hurling will be played at the world famous home of the Boston Red Sox. Back then All-Ireland Champions Cork defeated an American Hurling selection.
General Manager at AIG Ireland, Declan O’Rourke commented;
“We are absolutely delighted and hugely proud to be able to bring hurling to the iconic Fenway Park in Boston. I don’t need to explain the close ties the city of Boston has to Ireland and that is why it is a fitting venue to play host to one of our national games.
“We have enjoyed a hugely successful relationship with Dublin GAA since late 2013 and this is another sign of our support for them. It also marks our first official partnership with the GAA at national level and also with the GPA and I’d like to thank them for their professionalism and co-operation in getting this event off the ground.
“It’s also important to recognise the efforts of the Galway County Board, the North American GAA Board and Aer Lingus for their support and hard work. Finally, I want to acknowledge FSM, who will be our hosts in November. We’re delighted to be able to bring an iconic game to an iconic venue like yours”.
Fenway Sports Group President Sam Kennedy added;
“Hurling is one of the most electrifying sports in the world and we think fans are going to enjoy watching all the fast-paced action as two of the most accomplished and talented counties compete on the pitch at Fenway Park.
“We are always looking for opportunities to bring new and exciting events into Fenway and whether you’re a fan of hurling or new to the sport the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival promises to be a great event.”
Speaking on behalf of the GAA, Ard Stiúrthóir Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Páraic Duffy 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 project for that reason. Our overseas network is extremely important to us and bringing hurling to what is widely recognised as an Irish city outside Ireland is massively important to us.
“It will be occasion to remember on November 22nd as two excellent teams from Dublin and Galway demonstrate the best skills of our games”.
Speaking on behalf of the GPA, Chairman Dónal Óg Cusack said:
“The AIG Fenway Hurling Classic is a truly wonderful opportunity for us to exhibit hurling at a high profile US sporting venue, and there is none more iconic than the home of the Red Sox. We believe that hurling ranks alongside the best sports in the world and the staging of this game in Fenway is part of our commitment to convey that message to a new and influential audience.”
Aer Lingus Chief Executive Stephen Kavanagh said;
“The introduction of one of our native games, to an iconic venue, in our home from home is an opportunity Aer Lingus is delighted to support. We look forward to welcoming the Galway and Dublin Hurling teams on board our Boston services in November as they make their way to Fenway for what promises to be a memorable event. A night that is sure to challenge the score keepers on the green monster!”
The travelling party will depart with Aer Lingus from Dublin and Shannon Airports on Friday, November 20th and return on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th.