As the rise in COVID-19 cases continue throughout the country thanks to the delta variant and a slower than expected rate of vaccinations, we have seen NFL teams and colleges state that they will require proof of vaccination for entrance into football games this fall. Indiana, and in particular St. Joseph county, are certainly one of those areas in red over the last two months. With these factors in place, many people believed it was just a matter of time before the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were going to issue their own statement about vaccination requirements at home football games this year.
That will not be the case.
On Friday, a campus-wide email went out from Jack Swarbrick stating that proof of vaccination would not be required for attendance — nor would masks or negative tests.
In campus-wide email, Jack Swarbrick announced that masks, negative COVID tests and/or vaccinations will NOT be required at Notre Dame football games this season.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) August 27, 2021
Jack Swarbrick also wrote that unvaccinated people are expected to wear masks — because you know — most unvaccinated people have no problem with wearing masks in public.
“In the stadium, masks are optional for vaccinated attendees while outdoors. Unvaccinated attendees are expected to wear masks at all times, whether indoors or outdoors, in the stadium.”
Personally, I think Notre Dame is dunking on itself with the message this is sending. Notre Dame is requiring vaccinations for all students and staff this year — but not the other 70,000 plus people that will be stomping all over the campus for two days? It really doesn’t make sense.
Notre Dame will play its home opener on September 11 against the Toledo Rockets with a 2:30 start time.
Notre Dame announced their 2021 game day policies in this press release:
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame Athletics Department, in accordance with University guidelines and in consultation with local health officials, has announced policies regarding masking, parking and campus activities to begin the 2021 season.
“We look forward to welcoming fans back to campus in a safe way to participate in one of the top traditions in sport – attending a game inside Notre Dame Stadium.” said University vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “With Notre Dame’s vaccination rates as high as they are, our campus is one of the most protected places in our country – we ask that our fans help us keep our community safe by being fully vaccinated prior to coming to Notre Dame Stadium and our area.”
During the 2021 season, masking will be optional for vaccinated guests while outdoors or in non-enclosed spaces (i.e. stadium concourse, seating bowl and premium outdoor seating). Non-vaccinated guests are expected to wear masks during their time on campus. Regardless of vaccination status, all guests are required to wear a mask indoors while in campus buildings, in indoor areas of Notre Dame Stadium or when riding campus shuttles.
“We will continue to monitor campus, local, state and national conditions to best protect our students, staff and attendees.” Swarbrick added. “On a weekly basis, we will re-evaluate our gameday policies and make applicable changes to protect our community.”
PARKING & TAILGATING
Tailgating in University lots will return in the 2021 season. For the first two games of the year, campus lots will open at 8 a.m. ET. The remainder of the year will be announced at a later date.
A variety of outdoor campus traditions and activities including, but not limited to the Player Walk and Football Fridays at the Eck, will once again take place.
A student-centric pep rally will be held prior to the first home game of the season. This event is open to the public.
All vendors and concession stands inside Notre Dame Stadium will no longer accept cash. Payment in the form of credit or debit card will be accepted.