ESPN’s College GameDay to Kick Off 2024 Season in Dublin
ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will kick off the 2024 college football season in Dublin when ACC rivals Florida State and Georgia Tech play in the 2024 Aer Lingus College Football Classic at Aviva Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2024.
Working in cooperation with Aer Lingus, the flag carrier of Ireland and Tourism Ireland, College GameDay’s trip overseas marks the first time that college football’s premier pregame show is originating from outside the United States. The Aer Lingus Classic was founded in 2016 by On Location and Corporate.ie.
College GameDay and Seminoles-Yellow Jackets game will air on ESPN platforms, times to be announced closer to the season.
“Traveling College GameDay overseas and sharing the excitement and traditions of college football with sports fans from other countries is something we’ve always wanted to do,” says Seth Markman, ESPN vice president and executive producer. “Ireland is an amazing country known for having very passionate sports fans, so we expect an incredible atmosphere and experience for this first-ever international show in Dublin.”
Tourism Ireland Executive Vice President, North America Alison Metcalfe says, “Tourism Ireland is delighted that ESPN will bring College GameDay to Dublin next August ahead of the 2024 Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Florida State and Georgia Tech. Given that this is the first time the show will broadcast from outside the United States, it is a huge opportunity to showcase some of the unique things to do and see in and around Dublin, and the island of Ireland, to more than 2 million viewers across the USA, during three hours of live coverage, and inspire them to put Ireland on their future vacation ‘wish-list’.”
ESPN’s College GameDay – which celebrated its 30th season of road shows in 2023 – travelled to its first college campus on November 13, 1993 when No. 1 Florida State met No. 2 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Over three decades, College GameDay has visited 101 cities, 39 states and 81 schools. The weekly trips to game sites, which attract thousands of fans on Saturday mornings during the season, are a staple of college football. Just a few weeks ago, the premier pregame show celebrated its road show anniversary with a record-breaking crowd of 26,000 fans at James Madison University.
Some of the destinations College GameDay has visited through the years include Wrigley Field in Chicago (2010), the flight deck of the USS San Diego (2012), Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc. (2016), Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (2016), New York City’s Times Square (2017), the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (2019), and the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club (2020).
College GameDay had previously planned to travel to Ireland for the 2020 Aer Lingus College Football Classic (Notre Dame vs. Navy) before the event was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.
The 2024 trip to Dublin will mark Florida State’s 35th appearance on GameDay – and first since 2020. Georgia Tech will make its sixth appearance on the show, and first since 2019. This will be only the second time GameDay has been at the site of this ACC rivalry matchup with the lone previous meeting in 1998. For this historic show abroad, ESPN’s production crew and staff will utilize Aer Lingus to travel from the United States to Dublin.
The College GameDay Team
Rece Davis will kick off his 10th season as College GameDay host in 2024 and will be joined by some of college football’s most respected and recognizable analysts. Kirk Herbstreit, the former Ohio State quarterback and captain, has been on the show since 1996, while Desmond Howard, the Michigan Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer, will mark his 19th season on the program. Former All-American kicker and punter at West Virginia, Pat McAfee joined the GameDay desk full-time in 2022. Lee Corso, who starred on both offense and defense as a Florida State player from 1953–57, has been part of the program since it began in 1987. His legendary headgear selection – which usually entails a college mascot – is the culmination of each week’s show. During the 2023 season, Corso celebrated his 400th all-time headgear pick.
College GameDay’s interviews and storytelling, longtime staples of the show, are fronted by features reporter Jen Lada who will enter her ninth season on the show in 2024.
The show’s cast also features a trio of relative newcomers: college football insider Pete Thamel (third season in 2024) who brings in-depth reporting and breaking news updates each week, college football betting analyst ‘Stanford Steve’ Coughlin (second season in 2024) and on-site reporter and personality Jess Sims (third season in 2024).