Illinois will open 2021 football season in Ireland

The game against Nebraska is scheduled for Aug. 28, 2021, and will be the first time the Illini will play outside the United States.

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Illinois’ 2021 game against Nebraska will be played in Dublin, Ireland.

Holly Hart/AP

Illinois will open the 2021 football season in Dublin, Ireland, the university announced Monday morning.

The game against Nebraska is part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series. Notre Dame and Navy will play in the 2020 game.

“The University of Illinois, our football program, our alumni and fans, and the entire Fighting Illini family are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Emerald Isle,” Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman said in a statement. “When first approached about this game almost two years ago, we had immediate interest.

“This game will provide an incredible educational opportunity for our football student-athletes who, because of their schedule, generally do not receive the same international experiences as many of our other student-athletes. For our fans, I hope they will journey with us across the Atlantic for a wonderful trip and a major football game, all set against the beauty of Ireland.”

The game is scheduled for Aug. 28, 2021, and will be the first time the Illini will play outside the United States. The game was originally scheduled for Nov. 13, 2021, at Memorial Stadium. With the change, Illinois will have two bye weeks in 2021.

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