At Notre Dame, fall means football season. People on the quads tossing footballs. The smell of hotdogs and hamburgers filling the crisp fall air. Zahm’s Here Come the Irish sign. Ahhhh, perfection at its finest.
The Sched. – Know It, Live It, Love It.
How to Get Football Tickets.
As a freshman, in order to be eligible to get your football tickets, you must attend the alcohol awareness speech during your first week (don’t worry your Frosh-O staff will inform you and most likely walk you over). Once you become eligible, you will be informed by email about the day to get football tickets. On that day, you bring your ID and a check or cash for $245 to the ticket office, located at the front of the Joyce Center (basketball arena). I would suggest bringing a check! Notre Dame is really cool and wants all students to attend the games, so dorms have money set aside for students who might not be able to afford the tickets. Talk to your RA or an upperclassmen about how to use dorm funds to buy your football tickets.
Luckily for you the system changed, and your ticket grants you access to anywhere in the freshmen section of the student section. That means you are not tied down to a specific row or seat. If you want to sit in the front row, all you have to do is show up extra early to the game. If you don’t care where you sit, stroll in 5 minutes before the game.
Important Information: You will receive an entire ticket booklet. DO NOT RIP OUT ANY OF THE TICKETS, or else they become invalid. You bring the entire book to the game.
Shoutout to my freshmen year, when there was assigned seating and yours truly had FRONT ROW SEATS…IN THE END ZONE…FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON… WHEN WE WENT UNDEFEATED… AND WENT TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Needless to say, every season since then has been a slight let-down.
The entire student section wears The Shirt on gamedays. For the first few games, the student section is unified in the color of The Shirt; however, as the season drags into October and November, The Shirt finds itself buried under layers of sweatshirts and winter jackets and a couple blankets. What can I say, it gets cold.
Football weekends are filled with traditions. In fact, there are so many, that there is an official brochure of them all which you can get at the dining hall on football weekends. See an article listing the most famous things here. Below are some of my favorite things to do:
An absolute must see at least once a season! At midnight on Friday night, well technically Saturday morning, the Notre Dame band’s drum line gives a performance in front of the Dome. They dance around with tons of energy and play the rhythms that you will hear during the game. Go early and get in the front. You will not be disappointed.
I love to start my Saturday with a jog around campus. If you run around 9:30/10am you are just in time to see the campus start coming to life with early tailgaters starting with kegs and eggs. Finish at the DH (dining hall) and grab some food before showering and heading out for some tailgating. My fav!
Note: AVOID THE BOOKSTORE AT ALL COSTS! It is a madhouse of people.
The Actual Game.
I recommend entering the stadium about 30 min before game time. Sometimes there is a decent line to get in. (You can bring in a small purse but no water bottles.) As the warmup clock winds down, the intro atmosphere is amazing. The band replaces the team on the field.
Please welcome to the field The Notre Dame Marching Band, America’s FIRST university band.
Note: You should know the Preamble to the Constitution. All the students do.
Additionally, there are a ton of songs, chants, and hand motions to do at specific parts of the game. Observe and learn. Once you do get it, the songs will be stuck in your head forever. And the Fight Song is played about a zillion times!!
Note: Once the game begins, you do not sit down until halftime. This is sad but true.
Also Note: In-air push-ups after touchdown happen AFTER the extra point is kicked.
After the game is over, the team stands in front of the student section and sings the Alma Mater. You wrap your arms around your neighbors shoulder and sway side to side on the benches. Once the song ends with “Love thee Notre Dame!”, students make a mad rush to the dining halls for Candlelight Dinner.
Candlelight Dinners feature long lines and a bunch of meat options. They are pegged as the best food the dinner hall has to offer, although I don’t think it is that special. While the food quality might rise, the options greatly decrease and you are limited to the few choices or cereal. But it is still a great atmosphere (after a win)!