American football may be the most popular sport in the United States, but efforts are being made to boost its popularity around the world, as evidenced by the ever expanding National Football League (NFL) International series of games in London.
With an attendance of over 40,000, the 2014 “Croke Park Classic” in Dublin between Penn State and UCF gave American college football the chance to grow the exposure of its own football programme.
The logistics of bringing the game to Croke Park, the home of Gaelic Games, were numerous and included dropping the American football pitch markings onto the hallowed turf. It took three days to paint the pitch at Croke Park and 20 people to remove the paint after the match in time for a GAA championship game the following day.
The sheer numbers of individuals to be accommodated within both teams also had to be addressed – there are no more than 30 Gaelic football players in a locker room while college football can carry up to 125 players on a single team. It took at least four locker rooms to accommodate the teams in addition to 80 new lockers that were supplied by CP especially for the match.
CP designed a specially adapted version of its world-leading Evolo Fire Service Locker manufactured without a security compartment and the width of 2 standard locker units. These unique, one-off compartments contained a shelf on left and underneath, a coat rail with 4 hooks and a hook rail to the side for storage of clothes and equipment including helmets.