Stadium capacity still a question for Notre Dame fans

NOW: Stadium capacity still a question for Notre Dame fans

Rushing the field when The Fighting Irish beat Clemson in double-overtime, last year, Matthew Downing says the volume just didn’t compare to a fully-packed Notre Dame Stadium.

“The volume you heard at the end of the Clemson game can be replicated in a casual moment during the regular games we have,” Downing said.

Not just game time, but game day, feels different without the typical crowd.

“[On game day there’s] more people touring and exploring the campus than there are kids going to class. And I think that’s what I’ll miss most about it,” Downing said.

Notre Dame is accepting deposits for new season ticket holders, but the university told ABC57 it’s made no decisions about fan capacity in the fall.

St. Joseph County deputy officer Dr. Mark Fox said in an open-air stadium, with students required to vaccinate, folks could still feel comfortable going to a game as long as they’re masked up.

“The mask is more important than the distance, is what the latest evidence would suggest,” Dr. Fox said. “The risk is never going to be zero, probably again, ever in our lives.”

Dr. Fox said Notre Dame has not yet talked to county health officials about capacity for the upcoming season, but expects that to happen soon.

“And it’s probably easier to plan for full capacity and then reduce it and refund some tickets, than to do the reverse,” Dr. Fox said.

And the next time Downing rushes the field, he wants to see a sellout crowd be a part.

“I’m hoping that they’ll be able to make it happen,” Downing said.

Less than two weeks ago, the University canceled a George Strait concert scheduled for august in Notre Dame Stadium.

Notre Dame said the University and the promoters decided to cancel, “with spectator safety the highest priority.”

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