We’re just a couple of weeks away from the 2017 home football opener as the Irish get set to take on Temple on September 2. There is a lot of excitement surrounding this season as the University gets set to unveil the completed Campus Crossroads project.
Students, faculty and staff, alumni, and fans will have seven opportunities this season to experience one of the best gameday experiences in all of College Football right here in South Bend.
On Sunday (Aug. 20), fans will get a sneak peek with the New & Gold Game. The game will feature a simulation of a game day experience including a Fighting Irish scrimmage, a performance by the Notre Dame Marching Band and participation from the Notre Dame cheerleaders. Self-guided tours of portions of Duncan Student Center (the building located on the west side of the stadium), Corbett Family Hall (the east building), and O’Neill Hall (the south building) will also be available for fans to see.
The Campus Crossroads project has been a multi-year construction project in which more than $400 million has been invested in Stadium enhancements and the construction of O’Neill Hall, the Corbett Family Hall, and the Duncan Student Center. Contractors have been working diligently for years to meet a construction deadline this month.
A disappointing 2016 season has fans ready to put the past behind and focus on the upcoming campaign. Those fans will flock to our community from all over the world, many participating in an annual tradition, others crossing off one of those “bucket list” items from their list. Others will seek to reconnect with their alma mater or longtime University friends. Regardless of why they come, our community stands ready to receive and welcome our guests and to provide them with and experience they can’t find anywhere else on a Saturday afternoon.
Last year, Stadium Journey, a magazine and web site that annually reviews sports stadiums around the world, rated Notre Dame Stadium as the best experience in College Football . The rankings are meant to rate which stadiums provide the best overall game day experience for fans—taking into account food and beverages served, neighborhood, fans, overall atmosphere, parking, traffic, restrooms and overall return on investment. And that was before the recent improvements.
Many of our business partners have been gearing up for this for some time. Football season provides an important economic boost to our County and this region. The economic impact of a home football weekend in St. Joseph County is $15.1 million dollars, with $13.6 million being from visitors outside of St. Joseph County. In a typical season, we have six home games, this season seven.
Our hotel partners are most excited. We have some 52 properties with 4,331 rooms that all hope to be full throughout the season. We are anticipating two more hotel properties opening during football season, adding another 272 rooms to the mix. Our restaurant partners are equally excited and are anticipating some busy weekends ahead!
Residents of the area play an important role in the overall experience our visitors will have will visiting our communities. Let’s use this season to make our visitors feel especially welcome and let’s make sure they see all of the positive things happening here in our region. Who knows, some may come back for reasons other than football. Our businesses are hoping so!
Need more information on the gameday experience or all that is going on in the region, visit www.visitsouthbend.com for all the latest.