The Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) American football event being organized by Global Football in Dublin and County Meath this summer is expected to have a positive €4.5 million economic impact in Ireland.

The figure was announced at a media gathering at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin where Irish American Football Association President Greg Loughran presented GIFT 2012 organizer patrick Steenberge with a customized Irish national team jersey.

GIFT 2012 will feature 12 high school and college teams from the United States and Canada playing a series of ‘Friday Night Lights’ double headers at 4pm and 7:30 pm on Friday, August 31 at Donnybrook Stadium and Parnell Park in Dublin and at Pairc Tailteann in Navan, County Meath. The competitive regular season games are being held on the eve of the September 1 Navy versus Notre Dame clash at the Aviva Stadium.

More than 2,300 visitors associated with the participating schools will arrive in Ireland specifically because of the GIFT 2012 spectacular, and would not be coming to Ireland if not for these games. Additional sports fans are expected to attend the games from across Ireland, Europe, the United States and even further afield. Tickets available at have been sold to overseas fans from Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Austria and even Australia. Buyers from 13 different American States and 33 towns within Ireland have bought tickets.

“First and foremost we are showcasing high school American football at its very best and are providing the experience of a lifetime for the visiting players, coach, families and friends,” said Global Football President Patrick Steenberge. “But bringing this many people to Ireland specifically for this event also has a very positive impact in that the money they spend and the investment we make in staging the games benefits local businesses, people and the Irish economy.

“We believe this spending will have a positive impact on the Irish economy, and we hope in particular that local businesses benefit and that GIFT 2012 is able to leave a lasting impression for all the right reasons.”

The economic impact figure is calculated by measuring payments made by 2,300 travelers visiting for the GIFT event and their anticipated spend while in Ireland, including:
• Hotel nights during a four-day stay
• Travelers booked on Aer Lingus flights
• Meals at local restaurants and bars
• Public transportation and taxis
• Souvenirs and gifts
• Visits to tourist attractions
• Stadium rental costs
• Additional event operations costs
• Spend at stadium concessions

Visitors for the GIFT event will stay at the Citywest Hotel, Saggart; Bewleys, Leopardstown; Bewleys Newlands Cross; Green Isle, Newlands Cross; Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Newlands Cross; Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim; Royal Hotel, Bray and Newgrange Hotel, Navan.