Irish to offer season tickets for first time in 30 years

Updated: September 28, 2006, 6:14 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For the first time in more than 30 years, Notre Dame will make 5,000 season tickets available to football games starting next season, charging a fee to help pay for more than $40 million in repairs to Notre Dame Stadium.

The tickets will be offered first to alumni, donors and others affiliated with the university ahead of the general public, Notre Dame's executive vice president John Affleck-Graves said Thursday.

Within hours of announcing the season-ticket sale, the university had received at least 750 requests for applications. Affleck-Graves said if more than 5,000 applications are received from those affiliated with the university, the tickets will be distributed by lottery.

In addition to the cost of a season ticket, which is $413 this year, there will be an annual fee of $2,000 per ticket for sideline seats; $1,500 per ticket for seats in the corner of the stadium; and $1,250 per ticket for end zone seats.

The revenue generated through the ticket plan will help pay to repair and maintain the 76-year-old stadium, which was expanded to 80,795 seats before the 1997 season. Extensive work is needed in the concrete seating bowl because of freeze-thaw damage. Major work is expected to begin next summer.

The university decided against adding luxury boxes or allowing corporate signs inside the stadium.

"We thought if we put in luxury boxes, it would change the look and the feel of Notre Dame Stadium," Affleck-Graves said. "We think our alumni body likes the comfort of the traditional feel in the House that Rockne Built."

Affleck-Graves said the university did not want to use endowment money or seek donors because that could take away from academic fundraising.

He said none of the new season tickets will be drawn from those now available in the general alumni lottery. The season tickets will come from those that have been returned over the past several years, along with a reduction in tickets distributed to visitors through the academic departments, the university relations office and the university president's office.

A waiting list for the potential future sale of season tickets will be established after the current allotment has been sold. The additional 5,000 season tickets will bring the total to between 20,000 and 25,000.

Season-tickets holders already pay a building fund fee, which this past year was $350. Affleck-Graves said that fee will go up periodically.

The university also announced Thursday that it is revising how it distributes tickets to make more tickets available to alumni through its annual lottery.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press