College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is bringing its iconic pregame show to Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, kicking off a new college football season and marking the first time in history the traveling road show will originate from outside the United States. The 11-time Emmy Award winning pregame show, in cooperation with Aer Lingus, the flag carrier of Ireland, and Tourism Ireland, will set the scene for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Notre Dame and Navy at Aviva Stadium. College GameDay is expected to begin at 11 a.m. ET/4 p.m. IST and the game will kick off at 2 p.m. ET/7 p.m. IST. Both will air on ESPN.
“College GameDay has built its legacy travelling from city to city, campus to campus showcasing the unmatched passion of college football fans and the pageantry surrounding the game,” said ESPN Senior Vice President of Production Lee Fitting. “The Notre Dame-Navy rivalry serves as the perfect backdrop for College GameDay’s inaugural international appearance. We look forward to giving the great fans of Ireland and the thousands of Americans traveling to Dublin an unforgettable experience.”
Aer Lingus CEO Sean Doyle says “We are delighted to welcome ESPN’s College GameDay to Dublin in 2020. With firm Irish roots, we are proud to connect Ireland to North America, flying direct to 14 North American destinations. We are gearing up for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2020 which will see Notre Dame vs. Navy on Irish soil and are pleased that, thanks to ESPN, fans everywhere can get a slice of the action live from Dublin. Aer Lingus’ ambition is centered on becoming the leading value carrier across the Atlantic and this cooperation with ESPN will provide us with an exciting platform to communicate our message and bring Aer Lingus into millions of homes right across the U.S.”
Dublin, Ireland, Adds to Rich History of College GameDay Sites; Marks Show’s Latest Milestone
To date, College GameDay has staged 372 road shows from 86 cities within the United States. Notre Dame was the first institution to host the live event on November 13, 1993, and their fans welcomed it with such fervor, a college football tradition was born. Now, College GameDay has traveled to 72 different colleges and universities, with its undetermined weekly destination becoming one of the sport’s key storylines each week.
Overall, Notre Dame has hosted the spectacle nine times, most recently during Kickoff Weekend of the 2018 season (September 1, 2018), and College GameDay has originated for a total of 30 Irish game sites. For Navy, College GameDay now traditionally concludes its regular season tour by televising from the annual Army-Navy game.
For road show number 385, ESPN will utilize Aer Lingus to travel from the United States to Dublin, Ireland. The show will mark its latest milestone.
Pregame Show Honored Multiple Times; Recognized as the Best in the Business
College GameDay’s rich history is also critically acclaimed, as the show has won 11 Sports Emmy Awards in the previous 11 years. Its Emmy awards have been multi-layered, including its recognition for overall show content, storytelling and remote/technical expertise. For five consecutive years, the show was honored in Outstanding Studio Show Weekly category and has won that category a total of 11 times (2008, ‘10, ‘11, ‘14, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18).
Commentators Shape the Show, Recognized as the Sport’s Key Voices
The show’s accolades extend to its commentators. Analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who began on the show in 1996, was honored with the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Studio Analyst across all sports this past year – the former Ohio State quarterback’s third such award for his work on the show (2010, 2011). Rece Davis, who is in his fifth season hosting the show, was nominated in the Outstanding Studio Host category. Lee Corso, who coached at Navy from 1966-68, has been part of the program since it began in 1987. His legendary headgear selection concluding the show each week has become part of college football history.
Analyst Desmond Howard is in his 15th season on the program, while this is David Pollack’s ninth season. Howard’s pedigree is among the best of any analyst, having captured a Heisman Trophy and named a Super Bowl MVP in his playing days and later was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2010). Pollack is looking to join Howard in the Hall of Fame this season, as the former three-time first team All-American is nominated for the honor.
College GameDay’s interviews and storytelling, which is a backbone of the show, is fronted by Maria Taylor, Tom Rinaldi, Gene Wojciechowski and Jen Lada. Chris “The Bear” Fallica is in his 24th year on the show, having started the same year as Herbstreit. Fallica continues in his research role, providing key pieces of information throughout the show.
Nearly Two Million Viewers Tune-In in Each Week
This season, through the first five full regular season Saturdays, College GameDay is averaging 1,931,000 viewers, up 7% year-over-year. The premier pre-game show has averaged more than 1.8 million viewers per season for more than a decade.
ESPN Ushers in New Era with the American Athletic Conference
For ESPN, the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Notre Dame and Navy will be the first football game under the new long-term media rights extension with the American Athletic Conference which was announced in March of this year. The network’s lead commentating team of Chris Fowler, Herbstreit and Taylor are expected to call the game.
For ESPN, next year’s season opener will mark the first time a Notre Dame-Navy game has been televised on an ESPN network since 1993, when ABC aired the game from Philadelphia, Pa.
About Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. It currently operates 65 aircraft on over 100 routes to destinations in the UK and Europe and flies 16 direct routes to North America. The airline carries more than 12 million guests annually. Aer Lingus is Ireland’s only 4-Star airline, awarded by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization. Its mission is to become the leading value carrier operating across the North Atlantic enabled by a profitable and sustainable short-haul network and supported by a guest-focused brand and a digitally-enabled value proposition. Its home base is Dublin Airport. Aer Lingus is a member of International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups.
14 North American Markets*:
- New York, JFK
- Newark, New Jersey
- Washington, DC
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Orlando, Florida
- Miami, Florida
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Minneapolis St. Paul
*Both Boston and New York, JFK operate from Shannon as well as Dublin