Quietly, on a Saturday, Notre Dame announced a new tiered ticket system for each home game for the 2017 season. While fans have been subject to a tiered system before, Notre Dame has never offered different prices within each game. The tiers revolved around only the opponent. Now, the ticket prices are subject to both the opponent and the actual seat itself inside the stadium.
During and after the 4-8 season that only saw two home victories (Miami-Florida Hurricanes and Nevada Wolf Pack) fans became increasingly hostile towards the ticket prices. There was a distinct difference in the value between the actual ticket and the game being played.
Here are the way this years games are priced out as well as season ticket information:
The 2017 season not only offers a clean slate from the horrific 2016 season, but it will showcase the largest and most dramatic makeover of Notre Dame Stadium that we have ever seen (which, of course, have been few and far between). Some of the enhancements being made are:
- Replacement of wooden bench seats in the lower bowl with galvanized steel clad in dark blue vinyl and a widening from 16 to 18 inches to match that in the upper bowl.
- WiFi throughout the stadium.
- Significantly improved cell service.
- Fully renovated and historically-themed concourses celebrating the original Notre Dame Stadium, as well as new way-finding signage, and decorative lighting.
- A 96-by-54-feet HD video board for live game action, replays, celebratory moments in Notre Dame's history, and sharing of information about various University initiatives and achievements (there will be no advertising).
- Nearly 150 video monitors placed at various locations throughout the concourses, including on concession stand facades.
- Renovated restrooms on the upper and lower concourses.
- Ribbon boards 3¾-feet high running the length of Corbett Family Hall on the east side of the stadium and Duncan Student Center on the west for game information, including clock, score, down and distance.
- Renovated concession-stand exteriors with new portable stands and a refreshed concession menu.
- A new audio system with concert-quality sound.
There will also be a new tunnel for the visiting team in the northeast corner. This space was where the Notre Dame band was previously located. They will be moved further up into the lower bowl.
Some of the other changes are of course the three buildings being attached, as well as a new press box that was put into use last year. The area where the press box was previously located will be reserved for TV media as well as luxury suites.
All in all... it will almost feel like Notre Dame built an entirely new stadium somewhere else. Compare the 2017 version to the one we had just a little over 20 years ago and it’s like we just rocketed into the future with Marty McFly and Mr. Fusion.
It is what it is folks. For about an hour I started checking on the ticket prices of the seats I had for past games, and I was quite blown away. One Foot Down podcaster, Wes and I attended that first USC night game in 2011. I believe ticket prices were about $85 a piece. This year, those same seats are running $170... yes, that is literally double the price.
I do like the fact that some people will be able to catch a game with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for $45 a ticket. If you have a kid and want to take them without breaking the bank, this option (if available, because I’m sure it will be a hot item) could potentially be a really nice change.
It remains to be seen how all of this will be welcomed by the fans come gametime, but I imagine we will hear conflicting viewpoints on how great or how crappy all the new changes have made their experience.
I’m cautiously optimistic.