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Notre Dame Stadium

Notre Dame, IN

Home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

4.1

4.5

Notre Dame Stadium (map it)
1600 Edison Rd.
Notre Dame, IN 46556


Notre Dame Fighting Irish website

Notre Dame Stadium website

Year Opened: 1930

Capacity: 80,795

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Legendary Golden Dome

Arguably the most legendary college football program anywhere is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. From the iconic coaches, to the legendary players to the accolades and championships, Notre Dame is probably the most well-known college anywhere. They have been the subject of two movies with Knute Rockne, All-American and Rudy. They are the only college football team to have their own national television network contract. They have also remained defiant to the other conferences in the NCAA and remained independent, the only program to be considered on par with the Power 5 Conferences and not be a member.

The traditions at Notre Dame are widespread. From the bands to the Leprechaun mascot. Even the helmet paint itself is legendary with actual gold flakes being mixed in with the paint. Notre Dame football is definitely a bucket list item.

Home for the Fighting Irish since 1930 is Notre Dame Stadium. Although not the greatest facility in the world, Notre Dame Stadium is going through some significant renovations, no doubt, to capitalize on the amount of money that could be collected through untapped revenue streams. At the end of the day, any football traveler worth their salt needs to take a pilgrimage to Notre Dame and partake in the Legendary Golden Dome.

4.1

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

One of the great Notre Dame traditions is tailgating. That being said, Notre Dame Stadium provides a decent, but not spectacular array of concession options. Inside Notre Dame Stadium there are a number of permanent concession stands in the inner concourse. Patrons need to be careful as most of the concession stands have the same style of menu, but do not necessarily have the same concession offerings. Close attention should be paid to the menus themselves. Concession items are about what you would expect. Brats, hot dogs ($4.50), pretzels, nachos, popcorn ($6/$8), candy, burgers, chicken sandwiches, veggie chilli, chicken tenders and fries are all available. There are a few mobile stands with offerings specifically Dippin Dots. One of the concession stands that you would definitely want to consider is the Legendary Cheesesteaks stand, where you can get a Philly Style Cheesesteak to satisfy your hunger.

Throughout Notre Dame Stadium Coca-Cola products are available in fountain ($5.50/$8.00) or plastic bottle variety. Coffee, hot chocolate and water are also available throughout. As with many college football venues, alcoholic beverages are not sold in the stadium.

Atmosphere    5

The atmosphere at Notre Dame is outstanding, so much so that the Irish receive a perfect score for atmosphere despite having one of the most uncomfortable experiences out there.

The Notre Dame campus is absolutely breathtaking. All of the buildings on campus look like they belong together whether they were built in the 1800s or 2000s. A trip around campus is an absolutely necessary for those making their first trip to campus. Outside of Notre Dame Stadium, fans may be intimidated by the sheer size of the stadium. Keep in mind that there are significant construction projects on the go, which can make for a messy visit. There are a number of gates around the stadium, named after famous Notre Dame figures. The north gate is probably the one to check out as it is the Knute Rockne gate and features a bronze statue of the legendary Notre Dame coach. It is also the best spot from outside the stadium to see the infamous mural painted on the side of the library known as "Touchdown Jesus." The library is north of the stadium and can be easily seen from the Knute Rockne statue.

Inside, Notre Dame Stadium features an inner and outer concourse. True fans of Notre Dame football will want to spend a good chunk of time in the outer concourse as there is a ton to see. First off, there are four other bronze statues for the other four coaches that won National Championships. The statues for Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz can all be found around the outer concourse, usually near the other entry gates. There are also a number of displays on the walls of the outer concourse. There are large banners for all of the Notre Dame All-Americans over the years. Also, there is a special Heisman Trophy display for Angelo Bertelli, Johnny Lujack, Leon Hart, Johnny Lattner, Paul Hornung, John Huarte and Tim Brown, the seven Heisman winners in Notre Dame history. Finally, there are huge banners and giant championship ring displays for the 1924, 1929, 1930, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977 and 1988 National Championship teams. Notre Dame does a top notch job of putting their vast history on display.

Inside the stadium, fans will find a simple, single-level seating bowl. The field is artificial field-turf and sits in a north-south configuration. A bit of a misnomer is the ability to see touchdown Jesus from inside the stadium. There are very few of these seats available in the stadium and are at the south end, at the top part of the stadium. A perfect view of the centre logo is going to come from sitting on the west side of the stadium. The north and south ends of the stadium feature the scoreboards. The north side scoreboard offers a bit of a video board, but when it comes to this technology, Notre Dame currently falls behind other programs. Notre Dame Stadium also offers one of the most uncomfortable seating situations in college football. There are a few small sections near the field and at the fifty yard line that offer regular stadium seats at a ridiculously huge price. The rest of the stadium offers bleacher benches. The benches at Notre Dame are even below the standards of other programs as the benches at Notre Dame are wooden. There is also not a ton of legroom available. All should be considerations when deciding where to sit and at what price point fans are willing to spend.

The game day production at Notre Dame may be second to none. The traditions of the Fighting Irish are plentiful. Notre Dame has traditional cheerleaders and dancers that most colleges have. They also boast a fantastic marching band with The Band of the Fighting Irish. They place themselves at field level in the northwest corner of the field. Their performance at halftime is well worth the wait. Upon the entrance, the Irish follow the traditional drum major and Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot. It is almost impossible not to feel the energy and excitement.

Neighborhood    4

The Notre Dame campus is essentially a town onto itself. It is located northeast of South Bend, Indiana. On campus there are a few things to catch your attention. There are a few good spots to get a pre or post game meal. Reckers, O'Rourke's Public House and Brothers Bar and Grill are decent options. For an excellent experience, you want to make a reservation for Legends of Notre Dame. Legends is located right by Notre Dame Stadium and is filled with Irish memorabilia. If you are a huge Irish fan, then Legends is the place for you to be.

There are not a ton of other things to do around South Bend. That being said, there are a few things to check out on the beautiful campus of Notre Dame. Other than the infamous "Touchdown Jesus" mural, checking out the on campus church, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is worth the walk across campus. The church was built in 1888 and is absolutely beautiful. Mass is said on campus after every game at the Basilica or elsewhere. Also, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is worth seeing. As far as other sporting options go, Notre Dame plays basketball at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, right beside Notre Dame Stadium, and they play hockey at the Compton Family Ice Arena across the road. Both are also top notch facilities.

If you are planning on staying near campus, then the Fairfield Inn and Suites is a pretty good option for you.

Fans    5

What can you say about Irish fans? Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans are numerous and spread across the country. The Irish have such a following that they warrant a national television network contract with NBC all to themselves. The Irish boast over 250 consecutive sellouts at Notre Dame Stadium. That number would have been much higher if not for a 1973 midseason game against Air Force that was moved to Thanksgiving Day, when the campus was pretty much empty. Irish fans are loyal and loud and they know their Irish inside and out.

Access    3

Notre Dame could use some improvements to make access a bit better. Notre Dame Stadium is located at the center of campus. The campus is located just south of I-90/I-80. Getting to campus will not be too difficult. Keep in mind that there will be over 80,000 fans descending on the Notre Dame campus, so giving yourself sufficient travel time is imperative. Although there are huge parking lots south of Notre Dame Stadium, most spots are pre-purchased for tailgating. Finding a spot off campus might be the way to go, which will require a significant hike to the stadium.

If you are interested in public transportation, there are buses that travel Twyckenham Drive and Edison Road, not far from the stadium. Check out the South Bend Public Transportation website for maps, fares and schedules.

There are four main gates for entry into Notre Dame Stadium. Significant construction on the stadium can make the travel around and inside not the best. With the ticket situation at Notre Dame where there are so few tickets available, the ticketing area was not obvious.

Inside the stadium, moving around can be crowded. The washrooms are also in need of a significant upgrade. The men's washrooms feature the dreaded troughs.

Return on Investment    4

The fact is that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are a bucket list item for college football fans. However, getting your hands on Notre Dame tickets can be a real challenge. Fans are essentially left to the secondary market. Face value on tickets is usually $75 per seat. The secondary market, of course, inflates this price, sometimes significantly. That being said, the large expense incurred for fans at Notre Dame is more palatable considering that most view it as a once in a lifetime experience.

Extras    4

An extra mark for the fantastic Band of the Fighting Irish and all that they bring to the Notre Dame atmosphere.

An extra mark for the traditions found at Notre Dame and the great job they do of putting their vast history on display.

An extra mark for one of the great tailgating scenes in the country.

An extra mark for the absolutely gorgeous campus at Notre Dame, where everything seems to match.

Final Thoughts

One of the true bucket list items on a sports fan's list is Notre Dame Fighting Irish football. It is impressive how much of a following that the Irish command considering how uncomfortable Notre Dame Stadium can be and how expensive a trip to the Irish is. That being said, the Golden Dome is truly legendary and you should try to get to South Bend if you can.

Follow all of Dave's sporting adventures on Twitter @profan9 and on Instagram.

I\'ve been going to ND games since I was a babe in arms--can\'t get a sitter in married student hous

I've been going to ND games since I was a babe in arms--can't get a sitter in married student housing on game day. There's NEVER a need to buy an overpriced ticket from a scalper like StubHub. You do NOT need to have a ticket before you get to South Bend--95% of my tickets I've bought right there and if you are buying from a season ticket holder they cannot ask more than the $70 face value (even though they pay more than twice that). That said, you won't get one unless you can absolutely assure them you won't re-sell it. Easiest way to find these guys is to walk through the RV parking right next to the stadium. That's 99% alums. Don't try it wearing the opponent's colors. Bad...very bad.

Here's two other two tried and true methods:

This one has never failed me. Make a sign. Put it in the car window on the drive from Chicago on the Indiana Toll Road (I 80). Mine Saturday said "N ee D 1. The faux monogram in Blue and Gold and the "e's" little additions in between. It's got to be colorful and big, with your CELL number on it. Saturday I bought my ticket on Washington at the first light after exiting the toll road, but I've bought them in the line to pay the toll and even negotiated a 6 ticket deal (me and five kids--I was VERY optimistic and still got all 6 together, which was a little miraculous) at the Knute Rockne rest stop. I don't bother to dicker. I offer face. It's fair and it's quick. Real fans are NOT looking to make money, they just want another ND fan in the crowd. You might have to walk around for a while with that sign, but don' do it too close to stadium. Season ticket holders are skittish about that, even though they don't scalp.

Okay, now the bargain basement approach. First, never buy from the scalpers near the toll road exit or the parking lots. Go right to the stadium. Ten or twenty minutes before the game starts put up one finger and make eye contact with guys wearing fan apparel (scalpers never do). They'll approach. Ask how much. No matter what they say, offer $50. Nine out of ten will scoff and walk, but you'll find that guy who just wants to get in and sit down, has that odd ticket, and doesn't want to waste time. He'll frown and cave. The closer to kickoff, the easier it gets. If you wait â??til a minute or two AFTER kickoff (personally, I can't), you buy for 10 or 20 dollars--I have friends who do and they have never missed seeing the game.

Now, I know a lot of guys that simply won't do it. They've driven, say, 5 or 6 hours--maybe more, and they WANT that ticket IN THEIR HANDS. But trust me, this is an expensive luxury--totally unnecessary. I know this sounds crazy, but fans, true fans get in. We can spot each other--it's not just the shirt, sweatshirt, or the hat. It's the edge, the excitement, the intangible energy of being there. You really NEED a ticket??? There will be a guy out there who will get you one. I've had them offered to me for free. Yep.

Anyone out there want to discuss this, let me know.

DON'T PAY SCALPERS. These tickets are already the priciest in college football.

by IrishGadfly | Sep 06, 2010 07:34 AM

Awesome tips. It seems kind of risky if you\'re dead-set on getting in, but I guess you would know

Awesome tips. It seems kind of risky if you're dead-set on getting in, but I guess you would know better than me!!

by dan | Nov 13, 2010 10:10 AM

Truly a special place

I was blown away by my visit to Notre Dame Stadium. Paul says it best in that even though there is nothing fancey with the stadium, "it is all absolutely perfect". The traditions, fan support and atmosphere make this a must-see for all sports fans. Its hard not to get goosebumps the first time you hear the Notre Dame Victory March as the teams runs out onto the field and the crowd claps in unison. Also make sure to see the rest of campus as the Main Building (Golden Dome), Basilica and Grotto are quite unique. Everything is just a bit better when the leaves have turned and there is a crisp feel to the air

by shamus170 | Sep 17, 2011 03:56 PM

Parking at ND

All unreserved lots for tailgating are ID'ed in the GameDay Parking - South Bend app for iPhone. More info at www.gamedayparkingapps.com.

by GameDay Parking | Sep 02, 2012 07:42 PM

Wow.

I am NOT a ND fan --- I am actually a Michigan State fan --- but I have to say - ND Stadium is the greatest place to watch a college football game on Earth. Walk the campus first - go see the Grotto, visit the Dome, see the Chapel --- soak in all the atmosphere. When you enter the stadium, if you are wearing the visiting team's colors (as I was) the ushers will say "welcome to Notre Dame" and "thank you for visiting Notre Dame".

The fans are great.

My only beef: when they enlarged the Stadium, they made it impossible to see Touchdown Jesus from the playing field any more --- a huge mistake. They should have left a notch in the end zone so you could still see the Mural from everywhere.

Best place to see a college football game by far. It is the Lambeau Field for College Football.

by Walt | Jan 22, 2014 06:04 PM

Give players High Fives before warm ups

Inside Gate A, you can cheer players on and give them high fives before they go out for more pre game warm ups. After that, go to the upper deck concourse and watch the band march in. You can also watch the visiting team prepare to take the field from the concourse that is by the visitors locker room. The student dining hall is open to the public on Game days. They have a great buffet.

by BigMorry | Feb 23, 2015 10:52 PM

2014 Notre Dame win over Stanford

An usher with 8 years of Notre Dame Stadium work experience told me those last few minutes was the greatest experience that he had there. After the game, If you hang around the 2nd floor over watch of both locker room doors, you can strike up good conversations with fans, and ushers.

by BigMorry | Feb 26, 2015 08:53 PM

"The food offerings are pretty basic inside Notre Dame Stadium."

Hey Paul Swaney, do you really expect me to believe the 4star food & beverage rating with an opening statement like "The food offerings are pretty basic inside Notre Dame Stadium."???? C'mon man.....you lost some credibility points there bro.

by mstearns27 | Sep 06, 2015 09:40 PM

If you only ever attend one college football game in your life...

...this is the stadium to see. Truly an iconic experience.

by Aaron S. Terry | Nov 24, 2015 02:42 PM

Ben's Soft Pretzels-- 6 Stars

I think if you would have had a fresh, made from scratch, love in every bite Ben's Soft Pretzel you would have rated food 6 out 5 stars! Best pretzel in all of sports!

by Big b | Jan 04, 2016 08:46 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Notre Dame Victory March

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

If you made a top ten list of college football stadiums that you would like to visit, which venues would make the list? For me, a trip to Notre Dame Stadium is a no-brainer when putting together a list like that. As I crossed I-80 on the Indiana Toll Road, I began to wonder if the experience could live up to the expectations that I had in my mind. Let me tell you, unequivocally, it sure did.

ND has everything but noise

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Great stadium, nicest fans in the world. While South Bend isn't the greatest place, when ND football is being played, it suddenly becomes the safest place on earth. Everything about it is great. Given the food in the stands isn't gourmet, but it's what one would expect from a stadium. As for the fans, while aside from the students, its like there are no other fans in the stadium, no one makes noise, even with the students screaming their lungs out.

ND has everything but noise

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Great stadium, nicest fans in the world. While South Bend isn't the greatest place, when ND football is being played, it suddenly becomes the safest place on earth. Everything about it is great. Given the food in the stands isn't gourmet, but it's what one would expect from a stadium. As for the fans, while aside from the students, its like there are no other fans in the stadium, no one makes noise, even with the students screaming their lungs out.

Tradition Rich

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

This is the cradle of college football; every fan should try to attend a game at ND at least one time.

More old than classic

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

I guess I'm that one person who didn't really enjoy my visit to Notre Dame.

For parking, we selected the small women's college across from the Notre Dame campus. We toured all of the famous landmarks like the Golden Dome and watched people light candles, but the entire campus area was a no-alcohol zone, kind of taking away from the fun.

The atmosphere with the tailgating was a lot of fun, but once inside the stadium I was surprised how it was more of a social event, talking about the glory days rather than paying attention to the action and cheering on the team. It was more like you were shunned if you didn't go to games, so even those who dislike football went just to fit in.

The stadium itself is old, very old with basically no modern upgrades. The scoreboards are well behind their time and the wooden seats feel like the same ones that Knute made the players run 80+ years ago. Definately no fancy frills.

South Bend as a town is certainly not the greatest place, as mentioned by others. However, there is a good bit to do. I did enjoy my time at the College Football Hall of Fame, even though that is moving soon.

The return on Investment is a bit tough to call. The stadium is a traditional place with a lot of history. More so that all but 1 or 2 in the entire nation. However, the experience is more like being top 10-15. Couple that with some of the highest, if not the highest, priced tickets in college football and it will have to be a personal decision if the price is worth it.

Overall, not a bad college football experience but not what it is hyped up to be by others in my opinion. My experience versus that hype really left me a bit disappointed. I still think it is worth a trip and I rate it as one of the "must see" stadiums in college football, but take the hype with a grain of salt.

wow

Total Score: 5.00

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

i was here for the night game vs michigan. arrived on campus about 7 hours before kickoff and the energy way palpable, even though it was raining. beautiful stadium and great fans

TD JESUS

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

Amazing football field, with a ton's of history

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen, and Welcome to Notre Dame Stadium

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

It is one of those special places that all sports fan aspire to visit, even if they are not fans of college football. It doesn’t matter what inspires you to go and see a game at Notre Dame Stadium; whether it is the fervent fan following, your appreciation of history, or the movie Rudy. Whatever your reason, you would be justified to go and see a Fighting Irish home game, and chances are your expectations will be exceeded.

Built in 1930, Notre Dame Stadiums seats 80,795 for football. The stadium has been the home to nine of the 11 teams that have won the National Championship for Notre Dame, including in the stadium’s inaugural season.

There’s nothing fancy about the fan experience at Notre Dame Stadium, but it may be one of the best sporting venues to see a game live.

All Day Event!

Total Score: 5.00

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

Make a whole day out of a Notre Dame football game! 7:00 am -8:00, take in the atmosphere. It is truly unique and tradition filled! A must for every football fan!

Onward to Victory

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

Going to a game at Notre Dame Stadium is an iconic experience that every college football fan should take part in. Built in 1930, Notre Dame Stadium seats 80,795 for football. The stadium has been the home to nine of the 11 teams that have won the National Championship for Notre Dame, including in the stadium’s inaugural season. The stadium has a classic bowl shape and there are few bad seats in the place.

Recent expansions have done little to detract from the game day experience here. Touchdown Jesus is still visible from parts of the upper areas of the stadium, even with the new scoreboard. Recent press box and luxury suite fixes haven’t taken much away from the atmosphere either. Ongoing construction is being done without taking away from the surrounding areas.

Must see in FBS

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

To date I have been to 112 different FBS stadiums (more if you count bowl stadiums that aren't using during the regular season), and Notre Dame Stadium is easily #1. You just can't beat Touchdown Jesus, or the Fighting Irish band, or the college football Hall of Fame. Even the architecture is cool, you can see the original wooden super-structure that has been built over as you walk in. The only possibly drawback is access - parking is very difficult, you likely have to take a shuttle in. But no matter how much you have to pay for tickets, it will NEVER be too much.

Share your thoughts about Notre Dame Stadium

Local Food & Drink

Legends of Notre Dame  (map it!)

54801 Juniper Rd

Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-2582

http://legendsrestaurant.nd.edu/

O'Rourke's Public House  (map it!)

1044 E. Angela Blvd.

South Bend , IN 02035

(574) 251-0355

http://www.orourkespubhouse.com/

Brothers Bar and Grill  (map it!)

1234 N. Eddy St.

South Bend, IN 46617

(574) 287-2767

http://www.brothersbar.com/

Local Entertainment

Snite Museum of Art  (map it!)

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-5466

http://www.nd.edu/~sniteart/

Studebaker National Museum  (map it!)

201 Chapin St

South Bend, IN 46601

(574) 235-9714

http://studebakermuseum.org/

Lodging

Fairfield Inn & Suites South Bend at Notre Dame  (map it!)

1220 E Angela Blvd

South Bend, IN 46617

(574) 234-5510

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sbnnd-fairfield-inn-and-suites-south-bend-at-notre-dame/

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