Notre Dame Stadium Reviews

 

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Unforgettable Visit

There is something truly magical about the Notre Dame football stadium. I’ve been to a lot of sports stadiums, like both Yankee Stadiums, Joe Lewis Arena, and AT&T Stadium, but I don’t think any of them are as serious as Notre Dame Stadium.

Before its first major expansion in 1997, I went to my first Notre Dame football game in “the house that Rockne built.” I can still remember sitting on the thin wooden benches as the sun shone on “Touchdown Jesus.” Growing as a fan over the years, through both bad and good times, this history is still felt every Saturday during football games at Notre Dame Stadium. From Lou Holtz to the current head coach, Brian Kelly, Notre Dame stadium has been a place of tradition.

In its current form, the Notre Dame stadium has a lot of big, modern perks that some Notre Dame fans only accept with reluctance. Now that the stadium has a high-end club level, it can hold almost 60,000 Irish fans in different levels of comfort (which I could never dream of affording.) The massive videoboard and sound system that now hangs over the football field is the most noticeable change. I know that traditionalists are upset about the addition of the videoboard because they think it could lead to more gimmicky, sponsor-driven content, but the change makes watching much more fun. You can now see every play and enjoy watching them again. (As someone who works in the in-venue entertainment industry, I think Notre Dame still needs to work on creating the right content to go with a traditional Irish football experience, but that’s a whole different topic.)

I found accommodation near the stadium on this page

I usually judge concessions pretty harshly, but I think Notre Dame does a pretty good job. Their food service team, Levy, isn’t my favorite, but I liked my shamrock-shaped pretzel and the Doritos walking taco. Prices are average for a stadium. Not cheap, but I’ve been to places that cost much more (looking at you, Yankee Stadium).

You don’t have to like Notre Dame football to get caught up in the excitement on game day. The excitement, humor, and commitment of the student section quickly spread through the stadium. No matter which team you support, the Notre Dame Victory March will have you clapping along in no time.

A Thorough Review

The football stadium at Notre Dame is one of the most well-known in all of college football. Over 80,000 yelling fans can fit in the stadium, and more than 100,000 people can tailgate in the lots around it. This is the “House that Rockne Built,” and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fans love their team very much.

In recent years, natural grass has been replaced by FieldTurf, which will last much longer in this all-outdoor stadium. At the moment, the stadium is still being fixed up as part of a $400 million project to add luxury boxes and bring the number of people who can fit inside to about 85,000. The project started after the 2014 football season ended, and it should be done before the 2017 season.

From one end of the stadium, you can see the paintings on the side of the Hesburgh Library, which is one of the stadium’s most famous features. Millard Sheets’ mural of the resurrected Jesus from The Word of Life is now better known as “Touchdown Jesus.” Christ is shown with both arms up over his head, which is the universal sign for “touchdown.”

In the early years, names like Coach Knut Rockne, Gorge Gipp (The Gipper), and The Four Horsemen were often associated with Notre Dame football. Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz, Joe Thiesmann, Brady Quinn, Joe Montana, and a lot of other players from recent years are there.

I’ve never had the pleasure of going to a game at this stadium, but I’m looking forward to doing so very soon.

A True Sports Fan

About 15 years ago, I made a list of all the sports I wanted to do, and this was at the top. Since I started watching college football when I was 10 years old, it has been at the top of my unwritten list. In the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to cross off a lot of things on my bucket list, but until two weeks ago, Notre Dame was my “Holy Grail.” (This is a Catholic joke). On September 29, 2018, I was finally able to go to the Stanford vs. Notre Dame game, which was a matchup between the No. 7 and No. 8 teams.

We got here 7 hours before the game so we could take in everything. We bought souvenirs at the bookstore, looked at the statues around the stadium, and went to the Golden Dome, The Grotto, and Touchdown Jesus. We also drank a lot of beer. Because one of my friends knew someone who knew someone who tailgates, we had a place to hang out. The people were so friendly and helpful that it made the trip 10 times better.

The stadium itself was exactly what I wanted. I went out of Gate C and walked around the stadium once. Because of the student/band entrance, you can’t do a full lap on the bottom section. However, you can go up the ramp and work your way back down to the other side. The hallway on the bottom floor feels old, but not in a bad way. Instead, it feels old in a historic way. Old football fans love to look at the old program banners that hang in the concourse. Near what I think is Gate B, there is a section with their Heisman winners, National Championships, and All-Americans ( I could be off on this part). When you walk into the stadium, you can see that there are no bad seats. We sat on the ground floor near the corner of the end zone, which was a great spot. Upon taking my seat I had goosebumps. I could only think of Paul Hornung, Joe Montana, Raghib Ismail, and, of course, Rudy. I was really excited like I was 10 years old. It didn’t hurt that Notre Dame beat Stanford, which got everyone excited.

This is like Mecca for college football fans. (Not sure if that’s a good comparison for a Catholic college, but you get the idea.) Every sports fan should put this on their list of things to do.

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