I want to start out by saying I’m not man of great wealth nor did I attend Notre Dame. However, I’m a life-long fan and, a few years ago, I had the opportunity to purchase season tickets to Notre Dame Football.
This was a decision that was seemingly a no-brainer but was not without difficulty. As a Maryland resident, I cannot travel to all of the games. Plus, the opportunity to purchase tickets also required a significant (at least for me) donation to Notre Dame.
Still, I was happy to comply with the donation and went ahead with the decision to purchase. In my two seasons as a season ticket holder, despite some uneven play by the Irish, I’ve mostly enjoyed the experience. I kind of viewed the donation like an NFL fan would have viewed a Personal Seat License (PSL), but with the added benefit that the donation to ND is tax deductible while a PSL would not be.
Fast forward to 2017. The enhancements to the stadium have brought forth changes to the season ticket policy and some griping among the fans.
First, the changes/upgrades look unbelievable! I consider myself a traditionalist (see some previous articles) and, as such, I was not sure about field turf, rock music, and a video board. However, I’ve come around to the fact that they are necessary to recruit in this day and age. Plus, the video board looks awesome.
Secondly, the University threw in some benefits which to some may seem small, but I genuinely appreciated. Ask your local NFL season-ticket holder what, if any, benefits they get? Unless they count paying full-price for pre-season games a benefit, I suspect the answer will be somewhere between zero and nothing. Notre Dame, a brand similar to an NFL team in my book, threw in free parking, complimentary tickets to all general admission sports, and some priority access to bowl games and away tickets. In addition, with no Shamrock Series game this season, you essentially got an extra game in your package.
They also added a payment plan which allows the “average Joe: (aka me) to pay in installments. From the research I’ve done, the biggest gripe among fans seems to be that some experienced an increase in the price of their tickets. While I did not experience this during the current season, I know that in all likelihood I will soon. I also realize that might at some point price me out, particularly if Notre Dame returns to a level we all want them to consistently play at. Still, it is a risk I will take.
My biggest complaint would be the inability to re-sell our tickets. The policy on re-sale is incredibly strict. I get that they don’t want the stadium invaded by Nebraska fans (2000), but I still believe we should be able to sell to other Irish fans without the fear of having our tickets yanked.
Aside from that, my only other wish would be to get some Shiner Bock or something of that ilk flowing at the concession stands!