Notre Dame 2021 home football game policies include return of tailgating

University asks fans to come to campus fully vaccinated but won't require proof, for now

Eric Hansen
ND Insider
Four military jets perform a flyover before the Notre Dame-Navy football game Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. The school will return to full capacity Sept. 11 for the first time since the 2019 season.

SOUTH BEND — Time to party like it’s 2019?

Kind of. Sort of.

The University of Notre Dame athletic department on Friday announced its policies and guidelines for ND home football games in 2021, and it will include many game day traditions, including tailgating.

What it won’t include, notably, is proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or a recent negative test result, but the school is asking that fans come to campus fully vaccinated.

For now.

“We look forward to welcoming fans back to campus in a safe way to participate in one of the top traditions in sport — attending a game inside Notre Dame Stadium.” said university vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick in a statement.

“With more than 93% of Notre Dame's students, faculty and staff vaccinated, our campus is one of the most protected places in our country. We ask that our fans help us keep our community safe by being fully vaccinated prior to coming to Notre Dame Stadium and our area.”

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The ninth-ranked Irish open their season on the road Sept. 5 at Florida State (7:30 p.m. EDT; ABC-TV) before hosting Toledo six days later (Peacock streaming) in the first game at Notre Dame Stadium to allow full capacity since the 2019 season.

“We will continue to monitor campus, local, state and national conditions to best protect our students, staff and attendees.” Swarbrick said. “On a weekly basis, we will re-evaluate our gameday policies and make applicable changes to protect our community.”

Here, from the release, are the various policies pertaining to home game days in 2020: 

Mask policy

During the 2021 season, masking will be optional for vaccinated guests while outdoors or in non-enclosed spaces (i.e. stadium concourse, seating bowl and premium outdoor seating).

Non-vaccinated guests are expected to wear masks during their time on campus. Regardless of vaccination status, all guests are required to wear a mask indoors while in campus buildings, in indoor areas of Notre Dame Stadium or when riding campus shuttles.

Parking and tailgating

Tailgating in university lots will return this season. For the first two home games of the year, campus lots will open at 8 a.m. ET. The remainder of the year will be announced at a later date.


A variety of outdoor campus traditions and activities — including but not limited to the Player Walk and Football Fridays at the Eck — will once again take place.

Pep rally

A student-centric pep rally will be held prior to the first home game of the season. This event is open to the public.

At least to start the season, pep rallies will return in 2021 to the Notre Dame campus on Friday nights before Irish home football games.

Cashless venue

All vendors and concession stands inside Notre Dame Stadium will no longer accept cash. Payment in the form of credit or debit card will be accepted.

Single-game tickets

Single-game tickets and gameday parking passes are available at

ND goes mobile

To provide a safer environment and enhance the gameday experience, Notre Dame athletics recently announced it will transition to mobile ticketing beginning this fall.

Available through the user's smartphone, mobile ticketing offers a secure, convenient and flexible process while providing a contactless exchange of tickets when entering Notre Dame athletic events. For more information, visit

Notre Dame on Peacock

For the first time, a Notre Dame football game will be exclusively broadcast via NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, when the Irish take the field on Sept. 11 vs. Toledo. All other home games will be simulcast on both NBC and Peacock.

While many cable subscribers receive Peacock’s premium tier with their cable package, others may sign up for a special introductory offer of $2.50/month for the first three months. Head over to to learn more.

Additional information

For additional information regarding gameday events surrounding Notre Dame football weekends, head over to


(All times Eastern)

Sep. 5 at Florida State, 7:30 p.m. 

Sep. 11 TOLEDO, 2:30 p.m.

Sep. 18 PURDUE, 2:30 p.m.

Sep. 25 Wisconsin*, Noon | *Soldier Field, Chicago    

Oct. 2 CINCINNATI, 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 9 at Virginia Tech, TBA

Oct. 16 BYE WEEK        

Oct. 23 USC, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 30 NORTH CAROLINA, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 NAVY, 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 13 at Virginia, TBA

Nov. 20 GEORGIA TECH, 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Stanford, TBA

Follow ND Insider Eric Hansen on Twitter: @ehansenNDI