Football grounds – including Anfield in Liverpool – also going green for St Patrick’s Day
In a major coup for Irish tourism, an ancient wonder of the world – the Pyramids of Giza – went green last night for the first time ever, joining a host of other landmarks and iconic sites around the world for Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick this weekend.
Almost 70 landmark buildings and iconic sites around the world have already gone, or are set to go, green this weekend. The latest addition to the ever-growing list is Anfield stadium – home to Liverpool FC. In fact, Anfield is just one of three football stadiums which are planning to go green for our national day. The others include the landmark Allianz Arena in Munich, home ground to FC Bayern Munich (which is normally white, red or blue!) and the Friends Arena in Stockholm, venue of the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Sweden.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we’re delighted to be continuing our Global Greening initiative for the fourth year, with lots of new additions like the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and now Anfield Stadium in Liverpool. Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world, while also showcasing our wonderful tourism offering to a huge global audience. Our message is that there has never been a better time to ‘Jump In’ and plan a visit to Ireland.”
Score for Tourism! On St Patrick’s Day – five days before the World Cup qualifier between Sweden and Ireland on 22 March – Stockholm’s Friends Arena will be going green. The stadium, which plays host on the afternoon of 17 March to Sweden’s bandy final, will be lit green in the presence of thousands of spectators. Bandy is an extremely popular winter sport, played on ice (a Swedish version of hurling!). Irish music and film footage will be played in the stadium and spectators will be encouraged to take part in an Ireland promotion on their mobile phones. In addition, an estimated 500,000 Swedes will be tuning in to the game on TV and be exposed to the Ireland message. The Friends Arena will remain green every night until 22 March, when Sweden takes on the Republic of Ireland in the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup; with plenty of exposure and ‘hype’ about Ireland through the media in Sweden, the match is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a top location for sporting events – and to encourage Swedish football fans to make the trip to Ireland this September for the return game in Dublin. Tourism Ireland is undertaking a busy promotional programme, to capitalise on the tourism potential the game offers, which includes targeting football fans through a competition in partnership with the Swedish FA, as well as online advertising on websites popular with soccer fans. Tourism Ireland has also invited influential Swedish travel trade and media to attend the game in Stockholm.
Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative will see major landmarks and iconic sites around the world go green over the coming days to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. These sites include the Sydney Opera House, the London Eye, Selfridges in London, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj al Arab in Dubai and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.