UCF and Penn State to play for a pot of gold in Ireland

UCF and PSU will be playing their season opener in 2014 in Dublin, Ireland at the beautiful Croke Park Stadium.

In 2014 the University of Central Florida will play Penn State in Dublin, Ireland, the schools announced Sunday. The Croke Park Classic will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, 2014 and it will air nationally on ESPN2.

PSU and UCF will face each other in State College this year on September September 14th with the game set for a 6 p.m. kick-off.

So the game between the two teams that is now set to be played in Ireland was to have played been in Orlando as part of the home and home deal between the the two teams.

The new deal will be very much like a bowl game with both teams being paid a set fee. The amount is not clear but it is likely to be in excess of a $1 million dollars per team, and perhaps more.

It is not uncommon for schools to sell their home games. In 2010 Indiana moved what was originally a home game against Penn State to Landover in exchange for $3 million from the Redskins, roughly three times the revenue it would take in at a home game on campus in Bloomington, Ind. That same year, Virginia Tech received $2.35 million to play its season opener at FedEx Field against Boise State, a 33-30 loss.

It might be because of the money that both sides seem so happy about the deal.

In a joint press release issued by both schools there was nothing but excitement about playing a game in Ireland.

“We are very excited about the prospect of playing our 2014 season opener in Dublin,” UCF coach George O’Leary said. “It’s a great opportunity for UCF, and a chance for us to grow the exposure of our football program.

“On a personal level, obviously (Penn State) coach (Bill) O’Brien and myself are both of Irish heritage, so obviously it means a great deal to both of us to be in a position to bring our teams here. We are confident that Croke Park will be an excellent venue for us to play in, we have been hugely impressed to date with the facilities and we are looking forward to a huge crowd to get our 2014 season off to a flying start. We are confident that Croke Park will generate an unforgettable atmosphere for this game.”

The most recent college game played in Ireland was just last year in 2012 as Notre Dame took on Navy with  The Fighting Irish wininng the game the 50-10 before a crowd of 48,820. The stadium seats 62,000 and it is expected that the game will have a better crowd than Notre Dame and Navy.

The trip won’t be cheap to be sure. There are online travel packages can be found on the UCF website and you can click here for all the information

For those interested in making the trip packages start at $1,439 for four days and three nights. The packages includes hotel, game tickets and a variety of tourist activities, THEY DO NOT INCLUDE AIRFARE.

Checking those dates this year leaving Orlando on Monday August Monday August 26th and returning Sunday September 1st the cost of a cheap round trip ticket runs about $1,000.00 per person. Start saving your cash for the trip because it will be worth it.