Pittsburgh Steelers players during the pre-season game against the Chicago Bears at Croke Park on July 27, 1997. [Inpho/Allsport/Clive Brinskill]

Steelers game on Croker horizon

GAA President Larry McCarthy reckons it’s realistic to expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to play a competitive NFL game at Croke Park within five years. Speaking at the announcement that the Steelers have been granted naming rights to expand their brand and activities in Ireland, as part of the NFL’s Global Markets Program, McCarthy said that a match at GAA headquarters is a strong possibility. The Steelers played a pre-season game at Croke Park in 1997 against the Chicago Bear that was labeled the "American Bowl."

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Asked if another game within five years is a possibility, McCarthy nodded enthusiastically and commented, ‘‘As I have said to them privately it doesn't necessarily have to be a competitive game.’’ McCarthy was joined at the event in Croke Park by Brett Gosper, Head of NFL Europe and UK, and Daniel Rooney, Director of Business Development and Strategy with The Steelers. Rooney didn’t rule out bringing a regular season NFL fixture to Ireland and Croke Park, saying: ‘‘I cannot make any predictions; I know our aspirations long-term are to play a game in Ireland.’’