AER LINGUS COLLEGE FOOTBALL CLASSIC
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Aviva Stadium | Dublin, Ireland
Illinois vs. Nebraska
The Fighting Illini will pack up and head to Ireland when opening the 2021 season against Big Ten-foe Nebraska as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series in Dublin. The University of Illinois, the University of Nebraska and Irish American Events Limited are partnering to take an American Football game to Aviva Stadium in Dublin for a Week Zero game on Aug. 28, 2021.
“The University of Illinois, our football program, our alumni and fans, and the entire Fighting Illini family are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Emerald Isle,” UI Director of Athletics Josh Whitman said. “When first approached about this game almost two years ago, we had immediate interest. This game will provide an incredible educational opportunity for our football student-athletes who, because of their schedule, generally do not receive the same international experiences as many of our other student-athletes. For our fans, I hope they will journey with us across the Atlantic for a wonderful trip and a major football game, all set against the beauty of Ireland.”
The Illinois-Nebraska game is the second in a series of games in the Aer Lingus College Football Series and will be the first Fighting Illini game played outside the United States.
The Aer Lingus College Football Classic will be held at the magnificent Aviva Stadium, which also held the 2012 Emerald Isle Classic between the University of Notre Dame and U.S. Naval Academy, the 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Boston College and Georgia Tech and will be home for the 2020 Aer Lingus Classic when Notre Dame and Navy return to Ireland.
Aviva Stadium is located in Dublin, Ireland, with a capacity of 51,700 and 48,000 for American Football. It is built on the site of the former Lansdowne Road stadium, which was demolished in 2007, and where Boston College played in 1988. It is home to the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Republic of Ireland national football team.