. Emerald Isle Classic photos: Notre Dame tailgate and Aviva Stadium : Budget Travel Adventures

Emerald Isle Classic photos and videos: Notre Dame tailgate, Aviva Stadium, national anthems

Emerald Isle Classic Notre Dame Navy college football Aviva StadiumThe 2012 College Football season kicked off in an unusual location.  Sure, there were Notre Dame tailgates, plenty of Fighting Irish fans, and Navy Midshipman on hand for the Emerald Isle Classic football game between Notre Dame and Navy.

Fighting Irish fans were outnumbered by the actual Irish and this wasn’t even the biggest football game of the weekend.  This annual rivalry between Navy and Notre Dame was an offensive show by Notre Dame as Everett Golson led the Irish to a 50 – 10 win over the Midshipman.

However, this was much more than a game.

I got a chance to interview ESPN’s Mike Golic as he shared his thoughts on Notre Dame’s game and his experiences in Dublin.  Pubs were the home of tailgates and post game parties.  And Aviva Stadium was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever attended a college football game.

I was in Dublin Ireland for the Emerald Isle Classic to kick off the 2012 College Football Travel Tour with Expedia.  While this was just the first of 9 games this season, Ireland was the perfect place to kick off this special sports and travel series.

If you didn’t watch the Notre Dame – Navy football game in Ireland, here are some of the sights, sounds, and images from the game.

In this Emerald Isle Classic post, you will experience the Fighting Irish fight song as part of the Notre Dame tailgate in Temple Bar.  Take a visual tour around Aviva Stadium with some of the most unique views of any stadium in the world.  And celebrate the United States and Ireland with a tribute to both countries with pre-game activities and the US and Irish national anthems.

Notre Dame tailgate – Temple Bar, Dublin

This wasn’t South Bend, there was no touchdown Jesus, and not a car was in sight.  However, the Notre Dame tailgate for the Emerald Isle Classic drew plenty of fans, included lots of foreign beer, and saw many Fighting Irish fans dancing an Irish jig.

The University of Notre Dame band marched through Temple Bar, played the Notre Dame fight song, and paid tribute to Ireland with some Irish music before the fans loaded up the buses and headed to Aviva Stadium.

Notre Dame fans tailgate Temple Bar college football Emerald Isle Classic Ireland

Notre Dame fans enjoying the tailgate in Temple Bar

Notre Dame tailgate fans Temple Bar Dublin Ireland

Notre Dame tailgate Temple Bar Dublin dancing an Irish jig

Tap your toes with a little Irish music and dancing

Notre Dame band fans tailgate Temple Bar Dublin Ireland

University of Notre Dame Marching Band plays in Temple Bar Dublin

Aviva Stadium – home of the Emerald Isle Classic

With over 50,o00 seats, this isn’t the biggest stadium for a college football game.  However, it may be one of the most beautiful.  With the open glass design of the stadium and open air roof looking up to the blue and gray skies of Dublin, Aviva Stadium may have the best views of any college football stadium this season.

Each seat has its own folding chair so no wrestling with space on metal bleachers.  There isn’t a bad view from anywhere in the stadium.  And as you took a tour around and inside the stadium, you get to experience a taste of college football in Dublin Ireland.

Aviva Stadium has an unusual seating arrangement as you enter the stadium based on a color code on your ticket based on where your seat is located.  However, whichever way you approach the stadium, you can appreciate the modern but classy views.

Aviva Stadium Dublin Ireland

The approach to Aviva Stadium from tree lined streets

Aviva Stadium Ireland flag Emerald Isle Classic Dublin Ireland

The Irish National flag and Emerald Isle Classic flag welcome you to Aviva Stadium

Notre Dame Navy football fans Aviva Stadium Dublin Ireland

Notre Dame and Navy fans approach Aviva Stadium from the tree-lined streets

Aviva Stadium entrance Dublin Ireland

The "purple" entrance to Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium field Emerald Isle Classic Dublin Ireland

The view inside Aviva Stadium from Section 109

Aviva Stadium end zone Dublin Ireland

The Navy end zone at Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium open air roof Dublin Ireland

Looking up at the blue skies above Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium end zone view Dublin Ireland

A view from the end zone

Aviva Stadium seats Dublin Ireland

The seats at Aviva Stadium - no bleachers here

Aviva Stadium sideline view Dublin Ireland

A view from the Navy sideline

Aviva Stadium view Dublin Ireland

A view from the other side of the Navy endzone

Aviva Stadium midfield view Dublin Ireland

A view from midfield on the Notre Dame sideline

Aviva Stadium tunnel Dublin Ireland

Navy football players enter the stadium tunnel

Aviva Stadium sideline view of the field Dublin Ireland

A view of the field from the Notre Dame sideline

Aviva Stadium endzone Dublin Ireland

A view from the Notre Dame endzone

Aviva Stadium sideline view Dublin Ireland

sideline view

Aviva Stadium field level view Dublin Ireland

A view from the field

Jeremy Branham Aviva Stadium Dublin Ireland College Football Travel Tour

Smiling for the camera!

Notre Dame vs Navy – pre-game activities

Before Navy and Notre Dame took the field, we take a look at these two teams as they warm up and get ready for the big game.  We also pay tribute to the two countries with the US and Irish national anthems before we tee it up and kick it off at the Emerald Isle Classic.

Navy football warm up Emerald Isle Classic Aviva Stadium Dublin Ireland

Navy warms up before the game

Notre Dame football warming up Emerald Isle Classic Aviva Stadium Dublin Ireland

Notre Dame warms up before the game

Navy Notre Dame football warm up Emerald Isle Classic

Notre Dame and Navy warm up and stretch before the game

Navy football entrance Emerald Isle Classic Aviva Stadium Dublin Ireland

Navy makes their entrance for the Emerald Isle Classic

Notre Dame entrance Emerald Isle Classic Aviva Stadium Dublin Ireland

Notre Dame makes their entrance in the Emerald Isle Classic

Naval Academy United States flag Emerald Isle Classic Dublin Ireland

The Naval Academy presents the colors

Naval Academy Midshipman Emerald Isle Classic Dublin Ireland

The Naval Academy Midshipman march onto the field

Navy Notre Dame kick off Emerald Isle Classic

Ready for kick off!

The US and Irish National Anthems

If you want to see more from the Notre Dame vs Navy game in Dublin Ireland, check out game photos and videos.  Follow the 2012 College Football Travel Tour all season and check out my tour stops at the Naval Academy, University of Washington, and University of South Carolina.  Get more travel guides and tips on Expedia’s College Football page.

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Filed Under: College Football Travel TourFeaturedUniversity of Notre DameUS Naval Academy


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  1. Jenna says:

    Looks like the perfect event for you to attend. Must have been SO fun. Nice results with your new camera, too!

    • I did enjoy it. Honestly, the best part was the interaction with the people. I did LOVE my new camera. That thing is awesome and so much better than my old point and shoot. I will put my new camera to the test with my football game this weekend as I got a press pass from Ohio State and will be taking photos on the field for the game against Cal this weekend! Really excited about that! :)

    • That stadium is pretty awesome. Very unique and one of the best I’ve visited in terms of quality and experience. Most of the current college football stadiums are older – quite different than the trend of modern stadiums in professional sports. I guess that is why this one was so nice.

  2. Amanda says:

    It looks/sounds like such an awesome experience! I’m not even a huge fan of college football (or any football, for that matter), but this still looks like fun!

    • Oh come on Amanda – I know how much you love Kent State! :)

      Honestly, I think people who don’t love sports miss out on the experience. College football isn’t just about the game. There are many, many people who go to games and don’t even care. Many don’t even go into the game. They just love the tailgate and the social event. You should try a game one day and do a tailgate and everything else. You may really enjoy it.

  3. Looks like fun! I’m with Amanda in that I’m not a football fan, BUT I do enjoy going to live sporting events – always fun!

    • There is SO much more to football than just the game. I really hope this series introduces people to the culture behind the sporting event. I want people to see the connection and special moments. While I was there for the game, I honestly fell in love with the Irish people. They were incredible! More than the game, that’s the one thing I will remember about this game – the people of Ireland. Worth the trip and far more memorable than the game.

  4. Glad you got to experience some Irish Music. Although I love college football, I love Irish music more (at least more than a game between the Irish and Navy). I would have found a Guinness and a bar with live Irish music. If it was the Irish and Tennessee, then that is a different story.

    • I didn’t get to listen to that much Irish much. I admit I love some Celtic music though but only popped my head in to listen for a bit. I do love the Irish people though. Best people I’ve ever been around. Honestly, I’ve never been a Notre Dame fan but this was still a pretty awesome experience.

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