The great success that was the 2011 Europa League Final, won by Porto, proved that Dublin could host a major European soccer final.
Today, UEFA have awarded the Irish capital the host rights for 4 matches at Euro 2020.
The Aviva Stadium will welcome Europe's top footballers for 3 Group Games and 1 last 16 match, as UEFA takes the tournament around 13 cities to mark the 60th anniversary of the European Championship.
Wembley in London will stage the semi finals and final.
The European Championship is one of the biggest sporting events in the world with a cumulative TV audience of 1.9 billion, behind only the FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympic Games in terms of global reach.
The hosting of these games is expected to provide a significant boost to the economy, generating massive tourism exposure for Ireland before and after the matches.
The strength of Dublin’s bid is founded on an excellent partnership between the Football Association of Ireland and Dublin City Council. Crucially, it benefited from full Government support coordinated by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and was assisted by the sterling work of the bid partners, Aviva Stadium, the Dublin Airport Authority, the Irish Hotels Federation, CIE Group, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, the NTA, the NRA, the RPA and An Garda Síochána all of whom helped win the bid for Ireland.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring who travelled to Geneva to assist the bid said:
“I want to congratulate the FAI, Dublin City Council and their partners on the successful bid for Dublin to host part of the European Soccer Championships in 2020. It is a marvellous opportunity for our nation to be part of one of the world’s top sporting events and a fantastic opportunity for Irish football fans to enjoy such a prestigious event on their own home soil. The Government fully supported the bid and my Department and other Government Departments worked with the FAI to ensure that the bid met all the criteria sought by UEFA. To have an opportunity to host part of a tournament that is normally the reserve of Europe’s bigger nations represents a unique opportunity for Ireland. We are a country that is passionate about football and look forward to welcoming the cream of European football to our shores in 2020. Recent events, such as the Giro d ’Italia, have shown that Ireland can successfully host large international sports events and ensure that participants and spectators alike have a great experience when they visit Ireland.”
John Delaney, Chief Executive of the FAI said:
“I would like to thank Michel Platini and the UEFA Executive Committee for their decision to award this honour to Ireland against strong competition from all over Europe. In 2020 the Association will be entering its 100th year and this once off opportunity to host part of the European finals at our home stadium will provide a major boost for Irish football and the country as a whole. We could not have done it on our own and I thank our partners, Dublin City Council, the Government and all of the organisations who put in tremendous work to win it for Ireland. In particular I would like to acknowledge the work of Declan Conroy who successfully co-ordinated all of the parties involved to deliver a superb technical bid as well as the Irish supporters whose exemplary behaviour is acknowledged around Europe as one of our biggest assets.”
“Our business, transport and tourism infrastructure along with a world class stadium played a major part in delivering the bid for Ireland along with full political support and everyone involved has worked superbly as a team to bring this event to Dublin. Together, we now look forward to playing our part in hosting what promises to be a ground-breaking, European wide celebration of football.”