Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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UPON FURTHER REVIEW TODD D. BURLAGE Notre Dame in town, the BC athletic department added a "mandatory do- nation" clause — essentially a one- time seat licensing fee — for prospec- tive ticket buyers. According to the Boston College athletics website, four game tickets bought through the university re- quired a $25,000 donation for the re- quest to even be considered. The good news: a donation of only $5,000 was needed for two-ticket consideration. BC's ticket allotment sold out almost immediately, proving again, that no team in the country provides more earning power than Notre Dame. For each of the seven 2015 Irish home games — which includes the BC matchup — the average Notre Dame single ticket resale price was listed at $332.09, which was nearly $100 per seat and almost 40 percent higher than second-place Georgia at $235.47. At $829.29 per seat, the season- opening primetime matchup be- tween the Irish and Texas remains the second-most expensive ticket resold for all schools and all games so far this year, and the USC game at Notre Dame Stadium Oct. 17 is the fifth- most expensive in college football at $590.81 per seat. Yet neither of those two marquee games can stand up to the demand and dollars being brought into Boston this weekend. And to think Jack Swarbrick was somewhat skeptical to the sustain- ability of the Shamrock Series when he became Notre Dame's athletics director in 2008, one year before the first of these games was played in San Antonio. "I wasn't sure we could brand it successfully, that it would develop its own identity," Swarbrick said. "To what level it would be embraced was my concern." Swarbrick's fears have been calmed. The Shamrock Series has steadily become much more than it was ever intended to be with a full weekend of educational, spiritual and philan- thropic events, capped by a game that serves as the final salute to the cities and people that make this football festival work every year. "I think what has changed from the earlier years is our ambition and our perspective about how big it can be, because it has grown each year," Swarbrick explained. "This weekend really has an identity, and that's prob- ably the biggest surprise and the thing that I am happiest about." With no "premier" bowl wins in six tries since Lou Holtz guided his Irish to a victory over Texas A&M in the 1994 Cotton Bowl, and with only two rankings in the Associated Press top 10 since the 1993 season, calling Notre Dame irrelevant over the last 25-plus years has been easy for program de- tractors. But when it comes to ticket demand and public interest, not even the big- gest schools in the country can stand next to this little university in north- west Indiana. ✦ Todd D. Burlage has been a writer for Blue & Gold Illustrated since July 2005. He can be reached at

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