The second Irish Examiner says that the "Dublin Chamber of Commerce has predicted the match [between Boston College and Georgia Tech] will be worth €24m to the local economy." This is about one quarter of the €100m figure that UCF Athletics Association claimed was the economic impact of the 2012 game between Notre Dame and Navy. These details are available in Record 13 of a Freedom of Information request (here). In the same letter from UCF, to the then Minister for Sport, the UCF said "we respectfully request €1.5m in financial assistance". It is here that the IAFA enter the story. The UCF letter says "We also ask for your department's commitment to support the game. This support extends to granting full authority over the game itself to us and our chosen partners, without any involvement from the Irish American Football Association (IAFA). This would be a regular season NCAA game and as such the IAFA has no jurisdiction."
The UCF letter is dated May 1, 2013. Record 14 of the Freedom of Information request (FoI rather than FAI) contains a request from the IAFA to the Minister to attend the European Federation of American Football (EFAF) Atlantic Cup being held in Dublin at the end of June 2013. The event was part of a year long government tourism plan called "The Gathering". Interestingly, those advising the Minister suggested he should not attend. It is difficult to determine the exact reasoning.
It is possible that Record 15 could provide some insight. That record contains a letter from the Department of Sport to the Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Sports Council. One sentence from the letter says "The Minister is concerned that teams considering visiting Ireland are being actively discouraged by the stance that has been adopted by the IAFA towards these visits". Another sentence says "The Minister has requested that the Sports Council urgently engage with the Irish American Football Association to ensure that, as a Government recognised and funded national governing body for sport, the Association does not in future act in a manner that is damaging to the development of tourism as a crucial area of economic activity".
The IAFA were not the only Irish entity to find that they were getting less of the action than they wanted. In another Freedom of Information request (here), Record 12 documents how some of the rights to travel arrangements and ticket sales were allocated. It would be fair to say that at least one local wondered about the benefits to their part of the local economy.
If the last couple of days, and the above examples, have taught us anything then it should be that there is no divorcing sport from money (and politics) at the highest level.
[For those interested in the Freedom of Information on these matters, a greater range of documents can be found here and here.] Robbie Butler has also blogged about a related issue (here)