New prices for Notre Dame football tickets range from $45 to $250

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — The completion of the Campus Crossroads Project will bring a new pricing model to Notre Dame Stadium this year, with tickets for the general public sold at eight different points, ranging from $45 to $250.

Notre Dame first introduced a tiered pricing system in 2011 with different games priced at various levels. That system will continue with 2017 home games being slated into three tiers: Temple, Wake Forest and Miami of Ohio at the bottom, North Carolina State and Navy in the middle and Georgia and USC at the top.

Notre Dame is releasing the new ticket prices today. They will range from $45 for the cheapest seats to home games against Temple, Wake Forest and Miami (Ohio), to $250 for the most expensive seats in the marquee games against Georgia and USC.

The changes mean a three percent increase in the weighted average price of a Notre Dame football ticket — from $112 to $115. Last season, the home game against Nevada came with the lowest-priced ticket of $75 for every publicly sold seat in the stadium. Tickets for the games against Michigan State and Miami came with a $150 face value.

The gold seats on both sidelines will be replaced with new blue seats. Those sections have been identified as preferred seating — and not sold to the general public — and priced between $200 and $300 per game.

The Campus Crossroads project will bring several changes to Notre Dame Stadium, including new premium seating options, wider bench seats made of steel and vinyl (replacing the wooden benches in the lower bowl), improved wireless internet and cell phone service, and a large video board above the south end of the stadium.

Rob Kelly, Notre Dame’s associate athletic director of ticketing, premium and technology, said the change in the pricing model was meant to reflect the changes in the stadium and an improved game day experience. In setting the various prices, Kelly wanted to meet three goals.

“One was ensuring the broadest possible access by creating affordable price points,” Kelly said. “The second was continuing to offer a deeply discounted student season ticket. The third was this idea of ensuring that ticket revenue from the bowl was neutral despite all the changes that we are making.”

The new pricing model will be revenue neutral, Kelly said, meaning Notre Dame will be making the same amount of money off tickets sold in the 2017 season as it did last year. But that amount includes only the bowl seating and not the new club and loge seats, of which 90 percent have already been sold.

Notre Dame does not plan to increase ticket prices in 2018.

The jump from $150 to $250 this season for top-tier tickets will almost certainly spur complaints from fans, but Kelly said prices continue to reflect demand. Last season, Notre Dame Stadium extended its sellout streak to 255 consecutive games.

“For our highest-demanded games, we don’t typically receive a lot of feedback about the price of the ticket,” Kelly said. “There is a vocal minority that will express displeasure with a high-priced ticket. It’s actually our hope that this new model will help address some of that.

“So an individual who’s buying a ticket in the upper end zone for the Georgia or USC game isn’t paying that $150 price point. Now they’re paying the $95 price point that feels more appropriate for the seat location that they’re in even though it’s a prime game.”

Notre Dame will also be filling fewer seats. The stadium's capacity will shrink from 80,795 to about 78,000. Kelly said an exact capacity number likely won’t be released until the new benches are put into place.

Aside from the seat width adjustment in the lower bowl, a tunnel for the opposing team being created in the northeast part of the stadium has eliminated some seats. And while the number of sections in the lower bowl will remain the same, the sections will shift slightly so each can begin and end at an aisle.

Field-level seating will also be removed, which will result in Notre Dame’s marching band moving to the student section. Season ticket prices for students will be lowered from $245 to $240.

“What we’re doing now with the realignment of the sections, the students are actually going to take over some more of that that they didn’t have access to,” Kelly said. “Then that will make room for the band and any growth in the student section.”

The seating changes in the lower bowl will also affect some season-ticket holders who will have to move from their previous seats. In the coming weeks, Kelly said, those fans will be presented various options, including different price points with corresponding annual gift requirements.

Season ticket renewals will begin in early March with a new online selection process. Season ticket prices for 2017 and 2018 will range from $400 with an annual gift of $750 in the upper end zone, to $1,000 with an annual gift of $2,500 for lower prime seats.

The lottery process will also change. Fans who take part in the lottery — which won’t require different qualifications than in the past — will be able to choose their seats for specific games rather than simply requesting a number of tickets for each game.

Those with first priority will have a window of time to select their specific seats online. The process will continue through the various lottery levels.

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Notre Dame and Miami sell out Notre Dame Stadium during the Notre Dame-Miami NCAA college football Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in South Bend. Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN via FTP