Another Notre Dame Football season is set to kick of tomorrow, August 30, 2014, as the Fighting Irish meet Rice on the new field turf. Each season brings a new round of wild optimism, excitement about games and tailgating, and countless articles in The South Bend Tribune which seem to feature every player and staff member on the roster and their “special” story.
For those living in the South Bend area, we are very familiar with what Saturday home games mean to the city. 150,000 people are on campus that morning and day yet somewhere just above 80,000 get into the game.
Thousands of visitors fill hotel rooms for miles and local restaurants make their year during the season. Traffic is congested around the University, parking sprawls around campus, and sales of alcohol and bratwurst spike to obscene numbers. Visit South Bend Mishawaka estimates that each visitor to the area spends on average $178 per trip to the area. The university estimates that nearly 1 million visitors come to the University every year and that the total estimated economic activity, direct and indirect, by each Notre Dame home game is $18,000,000. This is truly a staggering number and reminds us the importance the University plays in our local economy.
Beyond the 7 home games, the economic impact of NDU can be seen around the area. Notre Dame is the second largest employer in the area, second to Beacon Hospital system. It has not only has spent gobs of money on construction projects on campus, but they have invested in the surrounding area including Eddy Street Commons and South Bend’s Northeast neighborhood. The House that Rockne built is about to look very different when the $400 million stadium project adds buildings to the exterior of the stadium. The University’s investment has spurred private investment all around the area with multi and single family housing, retail stores and hotels. Those visitors that haven’t been to a game in 5 years may have a hard time recognizing the area surrounding the Angela Drive campus entrance.
When you wake up Saturday morning to the sun shining in your bedroom window, rub your eyes and smile knowing that this is the first of a week of Saturday’s where one of the biggest parties in the country are happening in South Bend Indiana. Grab your favorite Fighting Irish T-shirt and hat, load that cooler on wheels and go out to join 150,000 of your closest friends to rejoice in the commencement of another Irish Football season!
More information on the economic impact of the University of Notre Dame: