We’ve known for months now that Notre Dame and Navy probably aren’t going to play in Dublin even though it sounded like Navy officials were holding out hope they would. Now it’s looking like another destination venue on the 2020 schedule could be in jeopardy too. According to the Irish Illustrated podcast, Notre Dame and Wisconsin might be squaring off in Lambeau Field, although the game itself isn’t in danger right now.
Tim O’Malley of Irish Illustrated reported the news on the Irish Illustrated pod yesterday. The good news is that the game itself doesn’t sound like it is in danger at all.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that Lambeau might be off the table for this year. The only reason for the game to be played there is for the fans and the experience. Considering there is a very good chance that no sports venue will anywhere close to 100% capacity this fall, the allure of playing at Lambeau is lost.
If the game can’t be played at Lambeau Field, it would likely have to be played at Notre Dame Stadium since it is technically a Notre Dame home game, and NBC owns the rights to it. According to One Foot Down, the contract stipulates that if either the Green Bay Packers or Chicago Parks District back out of the deal, the two schools will still play but at a mutually agreed upon alternate location.
At this stage and given all of the uncertainty with COVID-19 right now, what other alternate location would take this game if they can’t fill the stadium and maximize revenues? And why would the Packers want any more athletes in their facilities than are absolutely necessary? With all the concerns over what happens if a player
If the game does end up getting moved, along with the Navy game, two bucket list destinations for Notre Dame fans will get taken off the table. All things considered in the world right now, there are much, much bigger problems for everyone; but it would still be a disappointment for anyone who had planned on attending.
The 2020 Notre Dame schedule includes two other games in NFL venus: Wake Forest in Bank of America Stadium (home of the Carolina Panthers) and Georgia Tech in Mercedes Benz Stadium (home to the Atlanta Falcons). It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens with those games as well. Both Georgia Tech and Wake Forest have their own stadiums that the games could, in theory, be played at.
Again, it’s hard to imagine an NFL team wanting any more people in their facilities than necessary this year since it could increase the chances of one of their own players ultimately testing positive for COVID-19 and possibly missing time.
Notre Dame and Pitt are set to play in an NFL venue as well, Heinz Field, but Pitt is contractually obligated to play all of their home games at Heinz Field.
While it looks like there is a good chance that there will be football this fall, it also seems very evident right now that a lot of details are unsettled and whatever schedule does get played this year won’t be the same schedule that was initially put together by Jack Swarbrick.