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Notre Dame Football Will Pay $1.2 Million Guarantee To Central Michigan

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Game agreement acquired Monday via Freedom of Information Act request

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 27 Central Michigan at Akron Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The University of Notre Dame will pay $1.2 million to Central Michigan for the Chippewas to play a Sept. 16, 2023 game at Notre Dame Stadium, according to a game agreement acquired Monday by One Foot Down.

The contract will not be considered breached if the game is cancelled because of “an act of God; national emergency; natural disaster; epidemic or pandemic; federal, state or local governmental regulations; war; terrorism; civil unrest; or court order.” The agreement also says a game can be cancelled, among other reasons, for the “protection of public health including but not limited to a requirement to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure insomuch that it makes the game impracticable to play.”

If either side has to cancel the game outside of one of the elucidated reasons, the university calling off the game will pay money to the other side. That’s $250,000 if the notice is received by Sept. 16, 2021; $500,000 if it’s received between Sept. 17, 2021 and Sept. 15, 2022; and $1.2 million it’s received by Sept. 16, 2022 or later.

Central Michigan, which is based in Mount Pleasant, will have the option of purchasing up to 5,000 seats for its fans. It can bring up to a 400 piece band, but those will count toward its ticket allotment.

Central Michigan President Robert O. Davies, Athletic Director Amy Folan and Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick executed the contract Feb. 28.

The guarantee is in line with what was offered to Cincinnati in 2018 for this October’s game ($1.2 million), to Marshall in February 2019 for a game played in 2022 ($1.25 million), but less than that offered to UNLV in May 2019 for a game in 2022 ($1.35 million) and California in September 2019 for the Bears-Irish matchup in 2022 ($1.9 million).

Notre Dame is paying $500,000 to Purdue for its game this fall, although the Boilermakers will pay the Irish $450,000 when they come to West Lafayette in 2024.

The Irish’s 2023 schedule now includes:

  • Sept. 16 vs. Central Michigan
  • Sept. 23 vs. Ohio State
  • Oct. 14 vs. USC
  • Oct. 28 vs. Wake Forest
  • Nov. 4 at Clemson
  • Nov. 25 at Stanford
  • TBA: at North Carolina State, at Duke, at Louisville, vs. Pittsburgh