Ticket sales are said to be brisk for the the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic that is set for Fenway Park on Sun., Nov. 22. Gates will open at 11a.m. and the game begins at 1 p.m.
Hurling, the world’s fastest field sport, returns to Fenway Park for the first time since 1954 as two of the sport’s biggest teams – Dublin and 2015 All-Ireland Finalist Galway – compete on the pitch. The festivities will include a lively Irish festival complete with Irish food, music, and dancing, featuring Boston’s favorite the Dropkick Murphys.
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 takes on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at Fenway Park in a much anticipated college football game.
Dublin’s hurlers, of whom AIG Insurance of Ireland are the official sponsors, will take on Galway, which recently lined out against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Hurling Final.
The AIG Fenway Hurling Classic was 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.
Super 11s, 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 organized 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 Red Sox. Back then All-Ireland Champion Cork defeated an American Hurling selection.
Says General Manager at AIG Ireland, Declan O’Rourke, of the upcoming event: “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.
Red Sox and 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.”