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Friday, November 13, 2015

Report: Ireland To Play New Zealand In Chicago

A report in The Irish Times seems to confirm that Ireland will play New Zealand in Chicago in November 2016. The match has long been rumored and this strongly hints that it could be announced soon. The match would need to gain the approval of several bodies before getting the go ahead. Like in 2014 the match would be a stop on the All Blacks trip to Europe with them playing Ireland again and other European sides. Ireland would reportedly also play a Tier II country, New Zealand again, and Australia.

The match is an interesting one from a commercial perspective. The match against the All Blacks did sell out while the Eagles match against Australia reached about 23k suggesting that some of the novelty of a Southern Hemisphere team in Chicago had worn off. The article suggested that "it will be a surprise if the combined popularity of both Ireland and the All Blacks did not ensure a sell-out for their meeting next November." That may be true for the All Blacks but yet to be proven that Ireland is a big enough draw to bring sell out Solider Field. Either way, the match could be a test to see if the U.S. will watch non-Eagles sides in big numbers. 


  1. This will sell out in no time. Is there an Eagles / Maori undercard?

  2. Are you kidding? Have you counted the Irish in Chicago lately?
    Ireland could be playing Namibia and it would sell out.
    I will be there, and I live about ... six states away?
    It will be an expensive game for me, but worth it to see the Irish side in person.
    Oh, yeah, and the other side, too.

  3. Australia match would have done much better if it wasn't on a college football weekend and a holiday weekend. World cup schedule dictated that but alas, that's not an issue in 2016. Last time I checked there are a couple of Irish living in Chicago...

  4. Gotta tell you, my cousins in Ireland will be coming.
    Not to see the Ireland side, but to see the All Blacks.
    I can see I'll be planning a party in Chicago next year.

  5. Success will require proper promotion. That was the difference between the NZ and Australia games.

    1. 2 reasons why the Wallaby turnout was 23K...(1) many rugby fans were already traveling overseas for the World Cup, so another trip weeks before wasn't feasible, and (2) Australia doesn't have anywhere near the cache of the All Blacks (or even England maybe).

      Really hope to see the Eagles take on a strong opponent, although I expect it to be NZ Maori bc the Northern Hemisphere nations won't travel to the US to play the Eagles at the beginning of the autumnal international window, so that leaves Southern Hemisphere nations...Argentina would be nice.

    2. Undercard will most likely be Maori, but Argentina would be nice.

      I think Wallaby attendance suffered due to fact that many USA rugby fans were already planning travel to the World Cup.

  6. OK, the Irish will be coming over in force.
    The cousins would book tickets today if they were available.
    The draw for them is the All Blacks. As for the distance? They pretty much consider the USA as a province of Ireland, so it's a no-brainer for them to plan on coming to this event.

    It's gonna be epic!