Could General Public Be Allowed in Notre Dame Stadium for Season Finale?

When Notre Dame announced their plans for attendance and capacity of Notre Dame Stadium last month, they said that attendance would be limited to students, faculty, staff, and family members of those playing. For the December 5th season finale, however, students won’t be on campus and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said earlier this week there is a chance that fans could be allowed in the attendance though nothing will be certain for a while.

In an interview with Eric Hansen of the South BEnd Tribune, Swarbrick talked about how the entire gameday experience is changing for 2020, but here is what he specifically said about the possibility of fans in the stands when Syracuse visits in December.

“We don’t know yet,” Swarbrick said of the ticket policy for the first scheduled Irish home game in December since a 40-14 rout of SMU in 1953. “We’ll need to see how we do and how this works, and we’ll work with (St. Joseph County deputy health officer) Dr. (Mark) Fox as we get closer to that to see what might be acceptable.

“A lot of it is going to depend on how Indiana and St. Joe County are doing (with their COVID-19 metrics) when we reach that point in time. If we’re doing really well, I’m hopeful that we might be able to offer the opportunity to lots of area people to attend a game. But it all depends on factors that we can’t control right now.”

Jack Swarbrick interview by Eric Hansen, ND Insider

With the fall semester ending before Thanksgiving weekend, students won’t be on campus in early December for the latest home game for the Irish in nearly 70 years. That would, in theory, open up the possibility for fans in the stands since a) there will be no students and b) the bubble of Notre Dame campus would not need to be contained without school in session at the time.

At 20% capacity, Notre Dame can have a little over 15,000 people in the stands for games this year. Even if the general public is allowed in the stadium at that time though, how Notre Dame goes about determining how to allocate those seats is another question. Would it be season ticket holders only? If they can have the general public in attendance for the finale, they could decide to something like donating all of the available seats to charity as well.

With three months until that contest, a whole lot can change between now and then and a whole lot would need to go well for the possibility to exist for fans in the stands. Still, it does at least sound as though there’s a real possibility for it. For that to happen though, the season would need to be completed, and given how unpredictable the last few months have been, that will also require a lot to go right over the next few months.

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One Comment

  1. If the University allows the general public in for gameday, with restrictions, like up to 4-6 fans, who are friends or family, for each group being socially distanced from other fans, then ND needs to be wary of ticket scalpers. Don’t put it pass ticket scalpers to buy whole pods, then sell those tickets to 1-2 fans. Instead of having 4-6 fans who are friends or family in each pod, there would be fans in each pod that are strangers, in turn more likely to spread the virus among the general population. If the university does open up tickets to the general public, then the university needs to keep an eye on the secondary markets. If they see tickets on the secondary market, then ND needs to avoid those ticket transactions from the original buyer.

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