Pitt football will cross the Atlantic Ocean for its 2027 opener.
For only the second time in history that dates back to 1890, Pitt will play a game outside of the United States. The team will open the 2027 season against the Wisconsin Badgers in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin, Ireland.
The game is scheduled for Aug. 28 — Week Zero of the 2027 season — and will be played at Aviva Stadium.
“This is an absolutely tremendous opportunity for our football program, not only athletically but also culturally,” athletic director Heather Lyke said in a statement. “Visiting a new continent will be a life-changing experience for our student-athletes.
“The trip to Ireland will be something that members of our program — student-athletes, coaches, staff and also our tremendous donors and fans — will always remember. Pitt football will have this memorable international exposure along with the benefit of a national Week Zero television audience.”
Coach Pat Narduzzi echoed Lyke’s comments.
“What an honor it is for our Panthers to receive an invitation to play in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin,” he said. “As a coach, you want the young men in your program to have impactful personal experiences, on and off the field. I am grateful our team will have the opportunity to play in this special game against a great opponent like Wisconsin.”
Likewise, the Irish are looking forward to welcoming the Panthers.
“We look forward to welcoming two respected universities in the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Wisconsin and their notable football programs to Dublin in 2027,” said Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. “We anticipate an exciting week of leisure, business, academic and sporting events leading up to the game in line with our ‘Much More Than A Game’ ethos.”
“Dublin is now the International home of College Football,” said Daithí de Róiste, The Lord Mayor of Dublin, “and we are proud to welcome Pitt and Wisconsin to the Emerald Isle in 2027. These games are a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase all that Dublin City has to offer. There are strong, historic links with Pittsburgh and Ireland and this game will seek to further strengthen them.”
“We are thrilled that Pitt football will be headed to Ireland in 2027,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said, “and appreciate the incredible experience this will provide for our students-athletes. As the ACC and our member institutions continue to create special events surrounding ACC football, we thank our partners at Irish American Events and look forward to having Pitt represent our incredible conference in Dublin.”
Pitt played a football game outside the U.S. on Dec. 2, 1989, defeating Rutgers, 46-29, in the Emerald Isle Classic at Landsdowne Road Stadium in Dublin.
The only other occasions when Pitt football played outside the continental U.S. was Dec. 5, 1992, when football lost to Hawaii, 36-22, in the final game of the season. Pitt basketball played Gonzaga on Nov. 13, 2015, in Okinawa, Japan, but the game was suspended at halftime because of a wet floor.
Pitt and Wisconsin are scheduled to play twice in a two-year period (2026-27). The initial meeting will be played at the Badgers’ Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 19, 2026. The Panthers will be the designated home team for the 2027 game in Ireland. Pitt and Wisconsin have met three times previously, mostly recently in 1967, and the Panthers hold a 3-0 advantage.
Georgia Tech and Florida State will kick off in August, 2024, in the third straight game as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic game series, annually held at the Aviva Stadium. The game series key partners are Aer Lingus, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council.
Information regarding travel and hospitality ticket packages will become available at a later date. CollegeFootballIreland.com has more information.