Navy Ends Another Notre Dame Steak – Sellout Streak Ends

Brian Kelly can thank Charlie Weis for being the Notre Dame head coach that saw Notre Dame’s then-record 43 game winning streak over Navy end in 2007. Kelly now owns the distinction of being the Notre Dame head coach who saw the University’s home game sellout streak end though at the hands of Navy.  Notre Dame announced on Thursday that after 46 years and 273 consecutive games, this weekend’s top 25 matchup will not be a sellout.

In a statement announcing the streak ending this week, the University cited three November games being a challenge for maintaining the streak this year.  But this weekend’s contest features a Navy team ranked in the top-25, meaning that Notre Dame’s sellout streak was able to withstand seasons like 2007 and 2016, but will end in a matchup of top 25 teams.

Notre Dame’s streak of 243 straight sellouts was second all-time to Nebraska’s 373 that is still intact in Lincoln.  There are a lot of November games in those 273.  There’s a lot of cold-weather games in there too.  And, there’s a lot of games that weren’t marquee matchups mixed in there as well.  So why is it ending now?

The reason behind the streak ending isn’t cut and dry.  There isn’t one specific reason, but rather it’s a multitude of events that have been accumulating over the years that have finally got us to this point.

Everyone saw this day coming for years when looking out at the stands during some games and wondering how there were so many empty seats at times for games that were technically sellouts.

In short, though, while three November games are a challenge, it’s more of an excuse than anything else.  If the product that was being put on the field – and that is not restricted to the level of play – this game would be a sellout.  For all of the physical enhancements to the stadium, though, Notre Dame has not addressed one of the biggest pain points of the fans for years, and that is creating a better game day environment.

People don’t want to travel far distances and sit in the cold to have ushers in gold jackets walk up to them and tell them to sit down because someone complained that they’ve been standing during the game.  That type of thing happens every week inside Notre Dame Stadium.  The gameday experience has been deteriorating for years, and Notre Dame hasn’t done anything to change that.

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Look around the landscape of college football on a Saturday afternoon and compare Notre Dame Stadium to some other stadiums at big-time programs, and the difference is usually striking.  For some big games, Notre Dame Stadium can get loud at times, but outside of those games, the environment inside the stadium isn’t creating an exciting environment for the fans.  People don’t want to shell out all of the money that is needed for a game weekend to sit inside a stadium that can be lifeless at times.

Next year Notre Dame plays Clemson at home in November so they shouldn’t have a sellout problem next year. Still, if the University doesn’t take a look at how they can enhance the fans’ experience in games that won’t be hot tickets, we should get used to non-sellouts at Notre Dame Stadium.

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28 comments

  1. Bruce G. Curme 4 months ago

    Damien, you once told me that responding to “troll david” wasn’t worth it. You were right. But one thing from his post below is clear: he never graduated from Notre Dame. The degree is priceless…every ND grad knows how and why they prevailed on job interviews with 15 other qualified candidates…yet he calls it a fake degree! And also, the “religious BS” , as he calls it, is pretty good Theology at Notre Dame, still to this day. It doesn’t inspire every student to live a life of service, or regularly give their hard earned money to the poor, or the local Catholic grade school, or to the missionaries or clergy, or to work with high school students who need mentors, tutors or role models…but it inspires more than enough of those students in that direction.
    And the University (still) that personal attacks, David’s specialty (though he’s not very good at them), are not Christian tools, at least not when done publicly, and especially not when done anomalously.

    You see, Damien, BJ (if you remember him), probably really was an ND grad. David not only knows nothing about coaching (and little about football)…more disturbing still – he knows next to nothing about Notre Dame as a University, in the sense that Cardinal Newman would understand it. He’s a sad, angry man. He’s not even a clever troll, Damian!

    BGC ’77 ’82

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    1. jeff 4 months ago

      What happened to Bruce Johnson?

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      1. Damian 4 months ago

        I guess he finally realized Urban Meyer and Nick Saban weren’t coming to coach at ND, LOL. Kind of interesting that he fell off the face of the Earth and then it seemed David came on board.

        In some ways they remind me of each other….though I never really thought they were the same person. David wants BK out too, but I don’t recall him harping on ND trying to embarrass itself by crawling on it’s knees to Meyer like BJ did.

        BJ could be a pain, but I hope he’s alive and well and that he just moved on.

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      2. Ron Burgundy 4 months ago

        BJ went with Plan B.

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      3. Ron Burgundy 4 months ago

        BJ did have a legendary post that went something like:
        “If you can’t grow grass how can you expect to win a national championship.”

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      4. duranko 4 months ago

        Let me file an Amicus brief on behalf of BJ, Bruce Johnson.

        He was true blue (and gold) and sincere.

        The word fan, so the origin story goes, comes from “fanatic.” And Bruce was passionate about his Irish, wanting a return to the glory days he enjoyed as an undergraduate.

        While his hair was oft on fire, it was authentically, and he would proffer Offensive coordinators (chad Morris was one of his faves) and alternative head coaches.

        I give BJ this, he was right, the Irish have NOT won another national championship since his advocacy.

        But Bruce’s heart was good, he was reminiscent of an honest, albeit animated family squabble about the right
        way to raise a child.

        But he blazed forth, he neither sniveled nor carped nor kneecapped.

        Bruce, at the end of the day, was “US” and not “them.””

        Fare thee well, Bruce!.

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    2. Damian 4 months ago

      Yeah, I know. Most of the time I ignore him. Occasionally he’ll say something that gets a rise out of me. Complaining about ND trying to modernize it’s football program was one of them. But it’s really a moot issue–it’s not like they are throwing out the jumbotron because David doesn’t like it).

      But yeah, it’s best to ignore people like David. He contradicts himself. On the one hand he accuses ND of “selling out” to try to become elite—then he complains that they are not elite. And some of it doesn’t make sense because later he seems to indicate ND should go all in and give up it’s academic standards and religious affiliation. He accuses the rest of us of being on drugs, yet it’s his rants that are all over the place. Me, I’m generally pretty consistent. I used to be a BK fan but after 2016 that changed for me. And I’ve more or less stuck by that, though I still root for ND (my enthusiasm is greatly reduced at this point I’ll admit).

      I remember BJ too. His issue was week after week basically begging ND to hire Meyer (even though it’s pretty clear to any thinking person that Meyer was never going to come to ND–I mean, after all, he left ND at the altar once already, and statements he has made I think were pretty clear that he did not want to coach at ND and have to deal with academic and disciplinary standards–that was pretty clearly a rejection).

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    3. Bruce G. Curme 4 months ago

      Errata: READ “(still) teaches” and later, READ “anonymously” in the second block sentence. Sorry.

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    4. ndcrazymike 4 months ago

      BGC your posts and knowledge of ND FOOTBALL are why I enjoy this site so much!! Even though you describe dopey perfectly and his little boy BS, don’t waste your time!! Every coach, player and team dumbass davey brags about losses or gets fired within a year!! Living in mommys basement and working after school at WAL-MART have made dopey a miserable little boy!!

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    5. jeff 4 months ago

      There has been several entertaining posters on this site who have disappeared due to a faulty plan B. A few that come to mind are Sad Warrior, Buckeye, Toulin Tommy aka “speedy”, and Beatha Breath. This site is no where near as entertaining as it was ten years ago.

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      1. Ron Burgundy 4 months ago

        Memories.
        Underrated “speedy” reference, well played.
        Whiskey breath was entertaining. Sad Warrior was outed as a complete fraud by Shazamrock and a few others.
        Memo to all, get Plan B prep out of the way and your affairs in order.

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  2. Charlie 4 months ago

    $$$
    Games are absurdly expensive and difficult to get.
    Want fans? Make it affordable. Pretty simple.

    Want a better atmosphere? Sell beer.

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  3. Carlos Salguero 4 months ago

    34 year old lifelong fan. I’m in the Navy now and I went to my 1st game in 2015 when ND played Navy. Campus was incredible and there was so much to do. Now the game day experience was nothing like I expected it to be. It was borderline boring. I was shocked to say the least. Student section seemed to be having a good time but the other fans sat and golf clapped pretty much the whole game. I watch these SEC teams and their fan bases are so motivating for their teams with their passion. Maybe things are different now since all of the upgrades but I’m in no rush to go back for such a pricey experience.

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  4. Mikey 4 months ago

    I’m glad that sham streak finally got too difficult to B.S.

    It was ridiculous. Who cares about a home sellout streak if your team does nothing year after year? Hey, Nebraska has the longest streak by a wide margin, and they’ve stunk the house down for a good long time now. How much comfort do you think that silly streak gives them?

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  5. duranko 4 months ago

    There is a more significant issue confronting college football.

    You can see every big game on tv. Every One.

    But the larger crisis is the under 35 hand held device crowd. Their life is in the palm of their hand, and even when they are draffed to games.,
    they don’t maintain eye contact with the field but rather with their device.

    Just look at the SEC games. Places like Ben Hill Griffin and Jordan Hare have plenty of open seats for big games.

    Tickets go beggin at places like Ross Ade and Spartan Stadium. Last week’s game between unbeaten Baylor and TCU at smallish Amon G. Carter had
    a suprising number of empty seats.

    It’s a secular trend and will not go away for a long time.

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  6. Ron Burgundy 4 months ago

    Clear case of ND bias, plain and simple.

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  7. david 4 months ago

    Hunh.
    Maybe a protest that Kelly hasn’t been extended yet?

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    1. david 4 months ago

      Sarcasm aside….

      Field Turf
      Jumbotron
      Crossroads
      Shamrock series costumes

      ND is a complete sellout.

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      1. Damian 4 months ago

        So you want the stadium to look like it did in 1970? And yet you want ND to pull in elite level coaches and talents?

        Hate to break it to you but kids aren’t coming to a football team that looks like it did in 1970. Retro can be cool (i.e. slashes still in the end zone, most weeks no names on the uniforms, etc.).

        Looking old and outdated….not cool. Given a choice between going to a school with a state of the art facility or going to a stadium with facilities that look more like it belongs in a history book you’re elite players are going to go to the state of the art school.

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      2. david 4 months ago

        I see where you’re going, sport. Give the kids what they want. What they expect. What they demand.
        Groovy!

        Then give up all the religious BS, give these kids fake degrees and a decent paycheque, arrange for some houses for the folks.
        And go buy yourself a decent coach who’s main credential is an Irish name.
        If you’re gonna compete, then get rid of all the baggage and pretentious BS.

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      3. Damian 4 months ago

        Wow. So by installing a jumbotron, field turf and having the occasional game where they have a fancy uniform equates to ND selling it’s soul. That’s quite a stretch.

        Sorry man. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say you want an elite level coach and elite level players and not do some of the things you need to do to draw in those kinds of coaches and players. The name “Notre Dame” doesn’t have the same impact it once did.

        You can’t have a strong academic institution where players are supposed to have real majors, have a stadium that has little or no modern technology and think you’re going to get elite talent.

        You can do some of those things. One of the reasons I’m a ND fan is it’s emphasis on academics. I want that to stay. But modernizing the stadium, adding a training table, and things of that nature had to be done.

        When you want to compete with schools like Alabama and Clemson for recruits you don’t have to sacrifice who you are as a school to do that. BUT, your stadium, equipment and training programs have to be able to compete or they’re just going to go to Alabama and Clemson. You have to be able to show them that you are every bit as capable of developing your talent and showcasing the team as elite schools. If you want to compete.

        What you need is a time machine.

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      4. david 4 months ago

        A time machine? Wake up those echoes, you oblivious heroin addict.

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      5. duranko 4 months ago

        You should copy these posts and send them to your therapist with a blank check.

        It’s ‘Murica, unlike that bonespur faking clown I did my time in Vietnam. So you have freedom of:
        speech
        self-loathing’
        freedom to be miserable (at home, work and here)
        freedom to whine
        freedom to distract yourself for the pathos bathos et al in your life by criticizing:

        ND
        Kelly
        Posters
        fans

        Were I your therapist I would set you up like Tina Turner did with Tommy and then have you
        watch Katt Williams, particularly, and repetitively the “Why you ganbbanging on bacon” riff,
        and see if you can figure out that Katt was equally derisive of you hating’ on all things in the 46556.

        Again, I can’t figure out if internet masochism is your illness or your cure, but either way, it is neither
        effective or amusing. Your need for attention from whining is “not my circus, not my monkey”

        It’s a game. It is not a microcosm of life, and, as one of my progeny reminds me “not even life is a microcosm of life>”

        ND-Navy. Yeah, the Irish pay a debt to the Navy (and not just because Captain Leahy recruited George Connor while wearing a Navy Uniform)

        Me and mine will have fun Saturday. You??????

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      6. Damian 4 months ago

        David,

        You see, this is why I shouldn’t bother responding to trolls.

        You complain about BK and about ND’s lack of elite wins under BK. Then you complain about some of the changes that might help get ND to get the recruits it needs to win those elite games.

        Which is it? Because if you want ND to win NC’s it won’t happen with an outdated football program. AND on top of that you advise ND fans to tune into Georgia and LSU games….SCHOOLS THAT HAVE MODERNIZED STATE OF THE ART FOOTBALL PROGRAMS (and questionable academic and recruiting standards to boot). Yet you want ND to handicap itself by being outdated.

        I don’t seem to be the one with the issues here.

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      7. ndcrazymike 4 months ago

        Every comment makes less and less sense dumbass davey!! But maybe getting your GED will help with your anger and lack of any knowledge of football!! Hows WILLIE TAGGART and that ” SIMPLISTIC VELOSITY ” working out? Hows FROSTYS doin turning NEBRAKA around? And finally looks like another 3/4 loss season for your final coach at WISCONSIN!! Stick with picking your nose not future coaches for ND, what a complete ass you are!!

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    2. david 4 months ago

      I want a well-coached football team that is fun to watch.
      You ugly step-sisters clearly want a racket.

      Brevity…try it.

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      1. Damian 4 months ago

        Therapy…try it.

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      2. ndcrazymike 4 months ago

        LIKE FLORIDA STATE?? GREAT CHOICE YOU MADE THERE DUMBASS!!

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