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Dan Rooney: Steelers would love to play in Ireland, are working with the NFL on it

The Steelers want to play in Ireland.

Dan Rooney, whose family owns the team and who serves as director of business development and strategy for the Steelers, told the BBC that a game in Ireland is a real possibility.

“It’s been a goal from the start, being able to pursue an opportunity to play a live game in front of the Irish fans,” Rooney said. “We are working with the NFL on that and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s coming.”

Rooney indicated that the Steelers would like to play at Croke Park, where they played a preseason game in 1997, but he added that it’s ultimately up to the NFL, not the Steelers, whether Ireland gets a game and if so whether the Steelers are in it.

“We’re awaiting some of their findings and we have told them we would love to get to the island to play a game some day. It’s an exciting future ahead. It would be special no matter where we played it. Croke Park hosted it in 1997 and that is a special venue, but that’s really in the hands of the NFL,” Rooney said.

The NFL is increasingly focused on growing internationally, and Ireland has been mentioned many times as a country that could host games, with a fan base big enough to sell out a stadium. This year the league will play three regular season games in England, one in Germany and one in Brazil.