BC, GT to meet in Ireland for 2016 opener

Boston College will host Georgia Tech in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3, in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic to open the 2016 season. The game will be televised on ESPN2. It will be the third time in six years an American college football game will take place in Ireland and the second BC will play on the Emerald Isle.

Aer Lingus was also announced as title sponsors for the game that will see the Eagles kick off the 2016 season against the Ramblin’ Wreck. Tourism Ireland, Failte Ireland and Dublin City Council are also supporting the game.

Boston College will be making its second visit to Ireland. In 1988, the Eagles defeated Army, 38-24, in front of 45,000 fans in the old Lansdowne Road Stadium in the Emerald Isle Classic. It was the first American football game played in Europe. In 2013, members of the 1988 team, including head coach Jack Bicknell, reunited for the silver anniversary of the game and were honored on the field at Alumni Stadium during the BC-Army game.

The 2016 opener will be the first meeting between the Eagles and Yellow Jackets since Oct. 20, 2012, when Georgia Tech beat BC, 37-17, in Atlanta. The Ramblin’ Wreck hold a 6-2 series advantage, as the Eagles earned wins in 1998 and 2007. The contest in Ireland will be the first in the series on neutral territory.

“I know the young men on our team will remember this experience for a lifetime, and I’m so excited for them,” Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. “They will get to explore a new country, be immersed in a new culture, and then play the first game on the opening Saturday of the college football season. It’s great that we will get to share this experience with our conference friends from Georgia Tech. In BC and Georgia Tech, you have two outstanding academic institutions with great football traditions, and we are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our programs in Ireland.”

“It’s great to open the 2016 season in Ireland. This is a historic day for Georgia Tech Football, as we will play our first-ever international football game,” Georgia Tech Athletic Director Mike Bobinski said. “This is an amazing opportunity to bring college football back to Ireland and to give our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans a truly global experience.”