A different kind of football will be the main attraction in Dublin, Ireland, when Penn State opens its season there in 2014, and fans are already gearing up for the trip.
The Nittany Lions will play Central Florida in the Croke Park Classic at Croke Park, normally reserved for Gaelic football and other traditional Irish sports, on Aug. 30, 2014.This is the first time Penn State and Central Florida will play internationally.
Even though the game is more than a year away, a local travel agency is putting together a travel package so the blue-and-white faithful can see their Lions in action.
Bailey Travel in York City emailed clients about the impending trip Monday. Close to 100 people had already replied by Tuesday afternoon, said owner John Bailey.
"I think a lot of people will want to go over there," he said. "For those planning to go to Ireland, it's just a topping on an ice cream sundae getting to see Penn State play."
Tentative plans are for an Aug. 28, 2014, departure and to spend five to six nights in Ireland sightseeing major landmarks and, of course, taking in the game. It also will include transportation to and from an airport at home and abroad, Bailey said.
"We're going to tour all the really popular spots," he said.
More definite plans, including costs, will be released at a later date, Bailey said.
Blue and white: Penn State's alumni association and the Nittany Lion Club are also getting in on the travel action. Travel packages that span four to eight days and some including trips to other cities on the Emerald Isle are being arranged through Anthony Travel, according to a Penn State news release.
Prices range from $1,879 for a person to spend four days in Dublin to $2,869 for a person to tour Dublin, Kerry and Galway over the course of eight days. None of the packages include airfare.
However, special rates on airfare will be offered through Aer Lingus, Ireland's national airline, the release says.
Currently, the only way to secure tickets to the game is to purchase an official Penn State tour package.
Bailey said packages through his agency will include airfare.
The agency is planning for 46 people to purchase packages, but additional slots could be added at a later date, which Bailey predicted is very likely.
"With a name like Bailey, I can't wait to go back home," he said.