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Ireland awaits Iowa State football in 2025

Jacob Rice
Iowa State helmets lay on the field while players are interviewed after the Iowa State Spring football game, Jack Trice Stadium, April 22.

Iowa State will play Kansas State in the 2025 Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Dublin, Ireland after it was announced on April 24 that the Cyclones would play its first-ever international football game.

“This is an opportunity for our institution to go internationally, spread our wings and be able to show the world how Iowa State University represents,” Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said.

This will be the 10th college football game to be played in Ireland and the fourth in the Aer Lingus Classic. The game was moved to week zero of the college football season in 2022 and drew in over four million viewers on television.

Typically, Iowa State begins its football season playing mid-major or FCS opponents. With a conference opponent to begin the 2025 season, the stakes will be high.

“It’ll be a huge football game,” Campbell said. “To play that game right out of the gate will certainly be different and unique.”

The Iowa State and Kansas State rivalry, nicknamed ‘Farmageddon,’ has been played 107 times, but this is the first time the historic rivalry will cross international waters.

John Anthony, Aer Lingus College Football Classic co-founder, wanted two teams that had passionate fan bases and programs that were on the rise. Add in a conference rivalry, and an Iowa State vs. Kansas State game made the perfect choice.

“It’s the right combination of what I would say football quality and fan quantity,” Anthony said.

When Anthony called Pollard about the opportunity, he jumped on it. After a quick call with Campbell, Pollard called Anthony back less than 20 minutes later to confirm that the Cyclones would play.

“Coach Campbell didn’t even hesitate,” Pollard said.

Iowa State fans have traveled to many different cities for football games, especially bowl games. Cyclone fans took over San Antonio in 2018 for the Alamo Bowl and Memphis in 2017 and 2023 for both Liberty Bowl games.

Pollard is certain that fans will make the trip to see Iowa State play while enjoying what Ireland has to offer.

“I have no doubt in my mind that there will be 12 to 15,000 Cyclone fans in Dublin,” Pollard said.

Last season, Notre Dame played Navy in the Aer Lingus Classic, and over 39,000 people traveling from the U.S. attended the game.

Georgia Tech and Florida State are slated to play in the 2024 Aer Lingus Classic and Anthony estimates that 24,000 fans from the U.S. are expected to travel to Dublin, Ireland to watch the game.

The event has become a huge spectacle for the country of Ireland and has brought a global audience to the sport once grounded in the U.S.

In the past, Americans have filled Aviva Stadium and spent roughly a week in the area exploring Dublin and its surrounding cities.

“This will be the kind of thing people remember,” Anthony said. “Our history tells us the average fan will go to Ireland for over a week.”

In the days leading up to and after the game, social events will take place in the area surrounding the stadium and at the city center. The city’s center is within walking distance to the stadium, so fans can enjoy what the city has to offer at a nearby location.

“When we say it’s more than a game, we really mean it’s more than a game,” Byrne said. “There’s a whole series of events before and after the game, which really help ensure the fans get a good experience in Ireland.”

For more information about tickets, travel packages and more, Iowa State fans can visit

“This is far greater than a football game,” Pollard said. “This is an amazing opportunity for all of our fans and for our student athletes.”

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Jacob Rice, Visual Editor
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