Ireland trip called off, Nebraska-Illinois to be played in Champaign

Ireland trip called off, Nebraska-Illinois to be played in Champaign

The 2021 season-opening game scheduled for Dublin, Ireland, is coming back to the states.

A release from the Nebraska Athletic Department says the game has been moved after “extensive consultation with the Irish government, medical authorities, and the administrative staffs at Nebraska and Illinois”. The August 28 game will now be played in Chapaign at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to travel to Ireland to open the 2021 football season in Dublin,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “The trip would have been a memorable experience for the young men in our football program, so I feel badly they won’t have this opportunity.

“There was also a high level of excitement and interest in the game among our great fan base, and I know many of them were looking forward to making the trip to cheer on the Huskers. Anthony Travel and Irish American Events have been a great partner throughout this process, and we will continue to explore the possibility of taking Nebraska Football to Dublin in the future.”

Not only is there disappointment in Big Ten country, those that would have had the game in their backyard wish circumstances were different. Just last month, Ireland had the highest spike of COVID-19 cases in the world.

“It is desperately disappointing that it is necessary to cancel the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic but public health must take precedent,” said Neil Naughton, Chairman of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. “These games offer huge publicity potential, practical economic benefits, and a genuine expression of the close ties between Ireland and the United States.

“We have made great friends with both the University of Illinois and the University of Nebraska and I look forward to welcoming them back to Ireland in the not too distant future and giving their travelling fans the welcome Ireland is so famous for.”

The release states that ticketholders will be contacted by their purchase provider in the coming days.