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Notre Dame Road Stadium Tour: Stanford Stadium

The new Stanford Stadium.
The new Stanford Stadium.

This is the third road stadium we are taking a look at this year in which the Notre Dame football team will be playing in 2011. If you've missed the first two installments, click on the names below.

Heinz Field

Ross-Ade Stadium

Our last post took a look at the oldest venue the Irish will play at in 2011, while this current one focuses on the newest stadium Notre Dame will play inside this year.

Last time the Fighting Irish in Palo Alto, the program was at a terrible low and the vibes were about as horrible as could be.

Hopefully, this year's meeting will have a little more life to it.

Today, we look at Stanford Stadium.

Location: Palo Alto, California

Opened: September 2006

Capacity: 50,000

Surface: Natural Grass

  • The original Stanford Stadium opened in 1921, shortly before a golden era of football was to begin for the Indians (as they were then called). Four years later under first year head coach Pop Warner, Stanford would go undefeated at home, and suffer their only loss of the season in the Rose Bowl to Knute Rockne and Notre Dame. That was the first ever bowl game for the Fighting Irish.
  • The original stadium had a capacity of 60,000 that grew to 85,500 at one point. The original 60,000 capacity was the 2nd largest in the country at the time.

Old Stanford Stadium, with the track encircling the field.

  • The last game in the old Stanford Stadium was a 38-31 loss to Notre Dame. In that contest, Irish quarterback Brady Quinn threw for 432 yards and led the team down field for a game-winning drive to seal a BCS bowl bid. If you recall, construction crews literally started tearing down the stadium as soon as the game was over.
  • The old Stanford Stadium hosted Super Bowl XIX with the Bay-area 49ers defeating the Dolphins 38-16. This remains the only Super Bowl in which a team won the game in its local area.

San Francisco put a whooping on Miami in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium.

  • The renovations for the new stadium cost only $100 million.
  • The newly renovated Stanford Stadium was used as the main selling point for the soccer matches to be played if San Francisco won the 2012 Olympics, but the bid failed.
  • Stanford didn’t sellout the first game in the new stadium, nor any game in first two post-renovation seasons despite the reduced seating capacity. However, there have been recent sellouts against USC in 2010 & 2008, California in 2009, and Notre Dame in 2009.
  • Stanford is 12-1 inside their home stadium with Andrew Luck at quarterback. They were 6-7 in the preceding two years at home before Luck took over under center.

Stanford Stadium has become a more intimidating place with Luck playing for the Cardinal.

  • The Cardinal are 18-13 overall at the new Stanford Stadium, but had the misfortune of losing every game in the first season of their new home, being outscored 165-33.
  • Despite a 17-8-0 overall record against the Cardinal, Notre Dame is only 6-5-0 against Stanford on the road, and 1-1-0 inside the new stadium. The 2009 loss in the last game played there was head coach Charlie Weis’ last with Notre Dame.
  • The Irish lost the first game played on the road at Stanford in 1963 by the score of 24-17.
  • Bob Davie was 0-3 against the Cardinal inside Stanford Stadium, losing all three games against the man who would replace him as head coach at Notre Dame---Tyrone Willingham.
  • Lou Holtz was 3-0 against Stanford on the road, bringing top 10 Irish teams into every contest.
  • The Fighting Irish and Cardinal have never played each other inside Stanford Stadium when both came into the game ranked. 2011 might be the first such occasion.