Tuesday, May 28, 2024

K-State football to open 2025 season in Ireland

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Kansas State is headed to The Emerald Isle as the Wildcats will open the 2025 season against Iowa State in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2025, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, the school announced on Wednesday.

“We are thrilled that Kansas State University and our football program have been selected to play Iowa State in the annual Aer Lingus College Football Classic,” athletics director Gene Taylor said in a written statement. “The opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and fans to visit one of the world’s top travel destinations and to showcase our football program and brand on a global stage was one we could not pass up. We appreciate John Anthony and his staff for making this unbelievable experience possible, and I know our team, coaches and fans are eager to begin preparations for the trip to Dublin.”

This will be just the second time ever that K-State will play a football game outside the United States as the Wildcats played Nebraska in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 5, 1992.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be chosen to play in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic,” head coach Chris Klieman said. “Our players and staff are excited to expose our program to a global audience, and the cultural experience will also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of Wildcat Nation. We appreciate our administration and the Aer Lingus Classic team for making this tremendous experience possible.”

The game between the Wildcats and Cyclones will be the first ever Big 12 matchup in Ireland, the fourth edition of the Aer Lingus Classic and the 10th college football game all-time played in Ireland.

K-State’s series with Iowa State has featured two neutral-site Farmageddeon matchups with the Wildcats winning both the 2009 and 2010 meetings at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Additionally, the 2025 matchup will mark the first time K-State begins a season with a conference opponent since the inaugural Big 12 matchup when the Wildcats defeated Texas Tech on August 31, 1996.

“We are thrilled to welcome K-State and Iowa State to Dublin for the 2025 Aer Lingus Classic,” said John Anthony, co-founder of the Aer Lingus Classic and executive vice president, collegiate of On Location. “Kicking off the season with this classic Big 12 Conference rivalry game will bring a heightened level of excitement to another expected sell out of Aviva Stadium. This matchup was selected because of the high-quality play from both teams, as well as the passionate fans bases that follow them. We look forward to providing the experience of a lifetime to the student-athletes and their loyal fans who travel to Ireland. Special thanks to Coach Klieman and Gene Taylor for embracing this special opportunity for all of Kansas State University.”

The Aer Lingus Classic aims to bring American college football to Ireland each year to promote Ireland as a travel destination, and 2025 will be the fourth-consecutive season that college football begins its season with a game in Dublin. Florida State and Georgia Tech will kick off the 2024 season in Ireland with an excess of 21,000 U.S. fans confirmed traveling overseas for game week. ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will be on hand for the Aer Lingus Classic, broadcasting live from Dublin on Saturday, Aug. 24.

As title sponsor, Aer Lingus is responsible for transporting the teams and their delegations to Dublin on dedicated chartered flights. Aer Lingus, the Irish flag carrier, operates from 17 North America destinations direct to Ireland as well as offer seamless connections to Europe for U.S. travelers via its hub at Dublin airport.

“I welcome the news that Kansas State University and Iowa State University have been chosen to play the fourth match in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic series,” said Catherine Martin, Ireland’s Minister for Tourism. “This event is now a firm fixture in the Irish sporting calendar and provides a huge boost to tourism and hospitality in Ireland and indeed creates a great atmosphere in Dublin for visitors and locals alike. We look forward to welcoming the teams and supporters to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and beyond, as they go on to explore other parts of Ireland in August 2025.”

Wildcat fans can visit www.Cats2Ireland.com to learn more about the game and sign up for ticket updates, including official K-State travel and hospitality packages that will become available in late May.

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