More than 20,000 Americans are flying in to the capital this weekend for a colleges American Football match at Croke Park.
The fixture has forced Kerry and Mayo to go to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick for their semi-final on Saturday.
But the season opener at Croke Park this Saturday between college football teams University of Central Florida (UCF) and Penn State has had a knock-on effect of Donegal fans….hotels are booked out and those which are available have DOUBLED their prices.
A Donegal Daily survey found a double room at the Maldron in Smithfield this Saturday at an eye-watering €359!
The Shelbourne want €800 for the same night; and The Spencer is €320.
There are cheaper rates elsewhere; if you fancy the Carlton at the airport it’s still €150. The Herbert Park however is €363. But even the Ashfield B&B want €140.
It means fans planning an overnight stay will have to think again.
Tourism Ireland are behind the American Football match which has irked Mayo fans who have to travel to Limerick.
Their boss defended having the game at the height of the GAA season, saying the whole of Ireland will benefit.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Next weekend’s game between UCF and Penn States provides another very welcome boost for tourism from the United States this year.
“It promises to be a superb event, bringing all the ‘razzmatazz’ of a college football season opener to Dublin – and benefits to the island as a whole. Sports-related tourism has emerged as a very significant element of the global travel business in recent years and this game is another wonderful ‘hook’ for us to highlight Ireland in the all-important US market.
“We have put in place a busy promotional programme, to capitalise on the wonderful exposure offered by the match – including our TV campaign which will be seen by about millions of people this week.
“2014 is set to be another record year for tourism from North America, with growth of +10.6% recorded for the first six months of this year. Tourism Ireland is working hard to keep that momentum going throughout 2014. We are spreading the word about the many great experiences that American holidaymakers can enjoy in Ireland, including our newest visitor experience, the Wild Atlantic Way.”