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Notre Dame Football: The $3 Million Guarantee for the Alabama Games

The penalty for cancelling the games in 2028 or 2029 at the last minute are steep for both sides.

Discover BCS National Championship - Notre Dame v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama Crimson Tide have agreed to pay $3 million is they want to back out of planned football games in either 2028 and 2029, according to the contract released Monday through an open records request.

The agreement, signed April 5, stipulates that the program canceling the game must pay $750,000 if notice is received more than two years before the scheduled date of the affected game; $1.5 million if notice is given between 1 and 2 years out; and $3 million if it’s given less than a year before the date.

It’s not considered a breach if Alabama cancels the game because they have to play more than eight games against Southeastern Conference opponents as a condition of remaining a member. Ditto for Notre Dame and its five game obligation to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Other contract details for the games — which will be played Sept. 2, 2028 at Notre Dame Stadium and Sept. 1, 2029 at Bryant-Denny Stadium — include:

  • Both Notre Dame and Alabama have agreed to pay each other $1 million when the other team visits.
  • Sea of red, part III? Alabama will have the option of purchasing 5,000 tickets for the Notre Dame game. If they want to bring their band, each band member will need a ticket — and that will go against the 5,000 cap. The same applies in reverse for Notre Dame when it goes to Tuscaloosa in 2029.
  • Each side retains its television and radio rights. (Notre Dame’s contract with NBC runs through 2025.) Both universities can use up to 8 minutes of game footage as part of their weekly coaches’ show and up to 3 minutes on their websites.
  • Visitors will be limited to 400 band members, 12 cheerleaders and 1 mascot. They’ll also receive 60 bench passes, 24 all-access passes, 16 coaches booth passes, 8 video passes, 10 field passes, 20 pregame field passes and 12 parking passes.
  • Visitors retain control of their equipment and apparel.