Iowa State, Kansas State to open 2025 season in Ireland

By Kevin Kelley -

The Iowa State Cyclones and Kansas State Wildcats will open the 2025 season in Ireland, both schools announced on Wednesday.

The Game, dubbed the Aer Lingus College Football Classic, will be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday, August 23, 2025, which is Week Zero.

“We are thrilled to welcome K-State and Iowa State to Dublin for the 2025 Aer Lingus Classic,” said John Anthony, Co-Founder of the Aer Lingus Classic and Executive VP, Collegiate of On Location. “Kicking off the season with this classic Big 12 Conference rivalry game will bring a heightened level of excitement to another expected sell out of Aviva Stadium. This matchup was selected because of the high-quality play from both teams, as well as the passionate fans bases that follow them. We look forward to providing the experience of a lifetime to the student-athletes and their loyal fans who travel to Ireland. Special thanks to Coach Klieman and Gene Taylor for embracing this special opportunity for all of Kansas State University.”

Iowa State was originally scheduled to travel to take on Kansas State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan., on a date to be determined in 2025.

“We are thrilled that Kansas State University and our football program have been selected to play Iowa State in the annual Aer Lingus College Football Classic,” K-State Athletics Director Gene Taylor said. “The opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and fans to visit one of the world’s top travel destinations and to showcase our football program and brand on a global stage was one we could not pass up. We appreciate John Anthony and his staff for making this unbelievable experience possible, and I know our team, coaches and fans are eager to begin preparations for the trip to Dublin.”

Iowa State-Kansas State will be the sixth college football game played at Aviva Stadium following Notre Dame-Navy (2012 and 2023), Georgia Tech-Boston College (2016), Northwestern-Nebraska (2022), and Florida State-Georgia Tech (2024).

“We are extremely grateful for this opportunity presented to us by Aer Lingus to provide the young men in our football program an unrivaled educational, cultural and athletic experience,” said Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard. “Iowa State fans enjoy a tremendous reputation for following the Cyclones wherever they play, and we look forward to seeing them travel with us to The Emerald Isle for the 2025 season-opener.”

Kansas State will serve as the home team in the contest against Iowa State.

“I welcome the news that Kansas State University and Iowa State University have been chosen to play the fourth match in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic series”, said Catherine Martin, Ireland’s Minister for Tourism.  “This event is now a firm fixture in the Irish sporting calendar and provides a huge boost to tourism and hospitality in Ireland and indeed creates a great atmosphere in Dublin for visitors and locals alike. We look forward to welcoming the teams and supporters to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and beyond, as they go on to explore other parts of Ireland, in August 2025.”

The Aer Lingus College Football Classic in 2024 will feature an ACC matchup between Florida State and Georgia Tech. The 2027 edition of the game is also set with a non-conference matchup featuring Wisconsin and Pitt.

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Comments (2)

This is ridiculous. Iowa State and Kansas State are longtime rivals, this game is meant to be played in October or November in Manhattan or Ames. Maybe if they were playing some non conference team like Notre Dame, a school with Irish connections, it would make sense, but this is disrespectful to students, fans, and alumni who can’t afford a trip to Ireland.

Kansas State’s head coach made $5 million last season. Iowa State’s head coach made more than $4 million. Both teams have at least a few assistants making mid six figures.

They want to keep paying those guys big bucks to keep them from getting hired away by SEC or Big Ten teams (who all have much more money to spend than KSU and ISU). So they jump at every cash grab they can get. It might be moving a game to Ireland or Australia or wherever. It might be playing football games on Wednesday night, or starting the games at 10:00 am or 10:00 pm.

It’s the price of trying to play at the same level of college football as Alabama and Ohio State. It takes money, money, and more money.