Things to do Blue-Gold Game Weekend

Notre Dame stadium at sunset. Photo: Matt Cashore.

Notre Dame stadium at sunset. Photo: Matt Cashore.

Has it been a while since you’ve been back to campus? Or have you never been to Notre Dame? Here’s a guide of things to do while you are at Notre Dame for the Blue-Gold (spring) game this weekend!

“The Shirt” Unveiling:


Photo courtesy of The Shirt Project,

Start your Blue-Gold weekend off by attending the unveiling of “The Shirt.” What is The Shirt you ask? The Shirt is a student run charity project. Money raised by The Shirt Project is used to subsidize student organizations and create memorial awards in the names of Notre Dame students. The Shirt Project preserves the charitable nature of the “T-Shirt for the Cause” campaign. Half of the funding provided by The Shirt Project goes to The Shirt Charity Fund, which helps Notre Dame students who suffer from extraordinary medical conditions that requires payment beyond their means. Medical bills add up quickly, and the money for unplanned accidents or illness is not always available. Thus, by paying medical bills on behalf of students, The Shirt Charity Fund allows Notre Dame students to continue their education and recuperation without the fear of not being able to return the next semester due to financial reasons. ( For more information about The Shirt Charity Fund, visit the Financial Management Board’s website here.)

Authors Note: Not everyone is all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to “The Shirt.”
See: Time to Fix The Shirt!  

And while some are not fans of “The Shirt,” others can’t live without it … All Aboard: The Subway Alumni

On Friday, April 19 the 2013 Shirt will be unveiled to the public. The Shirt unveiling festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m., including inflatables, prizes, free food and drink (while supplies last), and local radio station 95.7 The Fan. Come see past Notre Dame players who will be on this years’ Shirt! Also, see performances by Notre Dame’s marching band, cheerleaders, the Leprechaun, Irish dancers, glee club, pom squad and 1st Class Steppers.

The stage presentation will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m., with head football coach Brian Kelly unveiling The Shirt at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Parking: Please be advised that parking will not be available in front of the Bookstore on the afternoon of the Unveiling. The auxiliary bookstore lot will be available as well as the Joyce Center lot.

Game Day:

Parking: For the 2013 Blue-Gold game on Saturday, April 20, the following parking lots will be open for fans. All parking is FREE with no parking pass required. Lots will open at 8:00 a.m.

  • Joyce
  • Stadium
  • Library
  • Reserved A
  • D2 – accessible parking with shuttle service
  • Innovation Park (IP)

Please reference the Game Day Parking Map for the location of all functioning Blue-Gold parking lots.

Tickets: If you don’t already have them, tickets are currently on sale for the 84th annual University of Notre Dame Blue-Gold Spring Football Game,  Saturday, April 20, 2013. The 1 p.m. EDT Blue-Gold football game at Notre Dame Stadium is a fantastic opportunity to get a sneak peek at the 2013 Fighting Irish football squad. Proceeds from the Blue-Gold Spring Football Game help support the scholarship fund of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley.

Ticket Information: General admission and reserved gold tickets may be purchased online: CLICK HERE

  • Press box and team brunch tickets are only available for sale via telephone at 574-631-7356 or in person at the Murnane Family Ticket Office, located between gates 8 and 10 of Purcell Pavilion
  • General admission adult tickets are $12 each ($15 on game day)
  • General admission youth tickets (18 years and under) are $8 each ($10 on game day)
  • Children age 3 and under do not require a ticket for general admission seating areas
  • Group sales of 20 or more general admission tickets (adults and/or youth) are $8 each

Team Brunch Information: If you’ve never attended the team brunch, it’s definitely something I would recommend you attend at least once. Included with each brunch ticket is a pre-game meal with the Notre Dame football team, exclusive access to an autograph session with the current team members and general admission seating at the game. Most tables will have a current football player seated with them, but due to demand, not all tables will.

  • Team brunch adult tickets are $65 each
  • Team brunch youth tickets (age 18 and under) are $40 each
  • Children age 3 and under do not require a ticket for the team brunch
  • Purchase limit of eight total brunch tickets
  • Due to limited quantities, the purchase of both press box and team brunch tickets is prohibited
  • Brunch is held in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome), enter gate 2
  • Doors open at 9:30 a.m. with brunch beginning at 10 a.m.

Press Box Seating: Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the same view as media covering Fighting Irish football! Included with your press box seating are a game program and a press box lunch (hot dogs, soup, cole slaw, potato salad, fruit salad, cookies and drinks.)

  • Press box seats are $100 each
  • Purchase limit of four total press box tickets
  • Due to limited quantities, the purchase of both press box and team brunch tickets is prohibited

Reserved Gold (chairback) Tickets: Do you want to enjoy the spring game in a seat more than the standard wooden benches? Purchase a reserved gold ticket!

  • All tickets are $30, regardless of age
  • Purchase limit is eight total reserved gold tickets



Looking for a great burger joint? My favorite destination Friday night of Blue-Gold weekend (or any football weekend for that matter) is to CJ’s Pub. In my humble opinion, no weekend at Notre Dame is complete without a trip to CJ’s for burgers. CJ’s is well known for their great pub burgers, and has been a student favorite since 1984. When I was in school, CJ’s was just a hole in the wall. They had a fire a few years back and had to rebuild. The new CJ’s is bigger and better than ever! Now we not only include CJ’s in our Friday night dinner plans … but also for a little dancing on Saturday night as well, as they now have a dance floor! Go figure!

My second food recommendation is brunch at Tippecanoe Place. Tippecanoe Place is the former Studebaker mansion. It is one of the premiere landmarks in the heart of South Bend’s historic district, and the mansion is teeming with the charm and grace of yesteryear. The gracious spirit of the past still thrives in the mansion’s 40 rooms with their wealth of fine antiques, 20 gorgeous fireplaces, and hand-crafted woods. This is definitely a must do experience!


Nightlife you say? There are three spots that I would put on my “can’t be missed on a weekend to Notre Dame” list … The Linebacker Lounge, Corby’s and Brothers Bar & Grill.

Please don't miss the 'Backer

Please don’t miss the ‘Backer

The Linebacker Lounge is a favorite of students and alumni alike! The Linebacker Lounge was founded in 1962 by former Notre Dame football player Myron Pontios, and local businessman Stan Pisek. They converted the building which had been an old drive inn into the now famous bar. The Linebacker has been featured on the Travel Channel, “College Towns”, and in October 2006 was the remote location for the television broadcast of ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the morning” show. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be on a football weekend (even spring football) than at the ‘Backer singing “Oh What a Night!”

Corby’s Irish Pub would be my next nightlife stop. Corby’s Irish Pub is a famous Notre Dame bar. The pub was established in 1990, and the movie “Rudy” was filmed at this location, which sealed the pub’s popularity. Corby’s is a very spirited Irish establishment and is the perfect place to be on football weekends when droves of alumni flock back to reconnect and relive their glory days!

Relatively new to the nightlife scene in South Bend is Brothers Bar & Grill. Located close to campus in the Eddy Commons, Brothers is great not only to grab a bite to eat, but also for late night fun. The place is huge, the menu is eclectic, and the music is loud but it’s a great time to hang out and people watch after some Irish football.

Campus Scenery:

The Grotto at Notre Dame. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Souder.

The Grotto at Notre Dame. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Souder.

Whether you’ve been to campus before or it’s your first time to Our Lady’s University, there are some must see spots on campus.

The Grotto

From the day Rev. Edward F. Sorin, the founder of Notre Dame du Lac, embarked from Le Havre, France, bound for his mission in the New World, Mary, the Mother of God, was his guiding star. The culmination of this early Marian devotion can be seen today in Notre Dame’s stone grotto, designed to closely replicate the grotto in Lourdes, France where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette. The Grotto has since become a favorite devotional spot on campus. People of all faiths have found rest and peace in this place of quiet reflection. The beauty of its natural setting, the soft candle glow, bestow a feeling of warmth and welcome upon it’s visitors. No tour of Notre Dame would be complete without a visit to this peaceful shrine nestled among the trees in the shadow of the Golden Dome, to light a candle and say a prayer. (Spring at the grotto photo, courtesy of Kathleen Souder)

Badin’s Log Cabin Chapel

After your stop at the grotto, take a walk around one of the two lakes on campus, and then continue the spiritual part of your weekend by visiting Badin’s Log Cabin Chapel and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Badin’s Log Cabin Chapel is one of the oldest landmarks on campus, and it is a must see for any visitor to Notre Dame, new or old.

Sunlight over the Badin Log Cabin photo, courtesy of Kathleen Souder.

Sunlight over the Badin Log Cabin photo, courtesy of Kathleen Souder.

The one-and-one-half story log chapel-cabin was built by Badin in 1830 and when Sorin arrived a decade later it served as living quarters (ground floor) and a house of worship (attic space) for several months until a larger log house was constructed. With the completion of this second structure (located east of Badin’s building), Badin’s chapel assumed two secular functions. The first floor was a carpentry shop, while the second story became a crowded dormitory for the brothers who, by 1843, numbered 18 men. Religious services were then held in a chapel in the larger log structure. (Log cabin history taken from: A Spire of Faith: The University of Notre Dame’s Sacred Heart Church, by Thomas J. Schlereth. Sunlight over the Badin Log Cabin photo, courtesy of Kathleen Souder.)

After stopping by the Grotto and Badin’s Log Cabin Chapel, swing by the Basilica and take in mass.

Sacred Heart Basilica

Your next stop is the Sacred Heart Basilica, which stands in sharp contrast to the simplicity of the Log Cabin chapel. It’s majestic blue and gold will literally take your breath away. Our favorite Mass at the Sacred Heart Basilica is the 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning Mass. We have affectionately nicknamed it “Smells and Bells” because you get a healthy dose of incense, and the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir provides the beautiful music.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Notre Dame, Indiana, is the largest Catholic Church on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. It also serves as the mother church of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States. The neo-gothic church features 44 large stained glass windows and majestic murals which were completed over a 17 year period by Vatican painter Luigi Gregori. The basilica bell tower stands 218 feet (66 m) high. The current basilica was preceded by a smaller structure erected in 1848 by Father Edward Sorin, CSC. The current neo-gothic church was begun in 1870 and consecrated by Bishop Joseph Dwenger on August 15, 1888.

The Golden Dome

The beloved Golden Dome.

The beloved Golden Dome.

Situated right next to the Sacred Heart Basilica, one of the most well known campus sights is The University of Notre Dame’s Main Administration Building (known as the Main Building or the “Golden Dome”). The Dome houses various administrative offices, including the Office of the President. Construction of the Main Building began in 1864 and was finished in 1865. The building stood for 14 years before being destroyed by fire in the spring of 1879.

Father Edward Sorin’s unbreakable will was best demonstrated in 1879 after the disastrous fire destroyed the Main Building, which housed virtually the entire University. Father Sorin willed Notre Dame to rebuild the Main Building and continue its growth. “I came here as a young man and dreamed of building a great university in honor of Our Lady,” he said. “But I built it too small, and she had to burn it to the ground to make the point. So, tomorrow, as soon as the bricks cool, we will rebuild it, bigger and better than ever.”

Immediately after the fire, the University took action, selecting a new design by Willoughby J. Edbrooke and began construction. The current Main Building was completed before the fall semester of 1879. The Golden Dome that caps the Main Building was a gift from the sisters of the adjacent Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame’s sister school. The Golden Dome stands 206 feet above ground level, and 125 feet above the roof of the Administration Building. The Dome, gilded in gold leaf, is 139 feet in circumference at its base and is topped by a statue of the Blessed Virgin which is nineteen feet high.

This is by no means an “all inclusive” list of things to do while you are at Notre Dame this weekend, but it will definitely get you started and on your way. Have a wonderful time on campus and “Cheer cheer for ole Notre Dame …”


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