Notre Dame announces limit on football attendance and no tailgating for 2020 season

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

The echoes in Notre Dame Stadium may be more literal than the lyrics of the "Notre Dame Victory March" this season.

Notre Dame announced Monday that attendance for home football games will be limited to no more than 20 percent of capacity. Notre Dame Stadium's official ticket capacity is 77,622, meaning no more than 15,525 tickets will be sold.

Notre Dame students will be given first priority to purchase season tickets. Remaining tickets will be offered to active Notre Dame faculty and staff members and sold on a single-game basis.

Notre Dame currently does not have plans to sell tickets to the general public or allow season-ticket holders to attend games. Holy Cross and St. Mary’s students may purchase tickets if space allows.

Season-ticket holders were informed of the decision Monday in an email from athletic director Jack Swarbrick. Those-season ticket holders have been given the option to roll over the amount they’ve already paid for the 2021 season, receive a full refund or make a donation to the Student Emergency Relief Fund. Notre Dame previously announced its refund policy for season-ticket holders in April.

“Simply stated, with few exceptions, such as families of the participating student-athletes and media, we will limit attendance at football games to students, faculty, and staff,” Swarbrick wrote in his email to season-ticket holders.

Swarbick said the university’s decision to limit attendance at Notre Dame games to members of the Notre Dame community amid the COVID-19 pandemic was informed by guidance from the St. Joseph County Department of Health. Those allowed to attend from outside the Notre Dame community — which includes family members of players for both teams, and media — will be seated in separate areas of the stadium.

Tailgating will be prohibited at Notre Dame’s six home games, which start Sept. 12 against Duke. Anyone in attendance will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Printed tickets will be replaced by mobile ticketing.

Tickets for the 2020 season can not be resold. Students, faculty and staff will be required to show a Notre Dame ID upon entry to the stadium. Based on availability, faculty and staff may purchase up to two tickets per game.

Attendance of Notre Dame’s regular-season finale against Syracuse on Dec. 5 may look different than the current plan. The student attendance will likely be smaller with the semester scheduled to end in November before Thanksgiving, which could give Notre Dame the flexibility to change its attendance plan for that game.

Notre Dame plans to release more details of its health and safety protocols for the 2020 football season later this week. Questions yet to be answered include the inclusion of the Notre Dame band and cheerleaders, concession sales and parking information.

Notre Dame has yet to announce the kickoff times for its revamped home schedule.

Attendance for Notre Dame football games this season will be limited to 20 percent of Notre Dame Stadium’s capacity.