Atmosphere

Notre Dame is home to arguably the best tailgate & atmosphere in the Midwest, if not the world.  South Bend may be a small town, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t put on quite the pregame party. Everyone here sets out early to get the most out of an Irish game day as set up begins as early as 8 am when the lots open. The students tend to arrive closer to kickoff and set up their tailgates alongside those of the alumni. The town lives and breathes Notre Dame football, and you’d struggle to find a more passionate fan base anywhere.

The fans are very hospitable here, and you’ll have no problem fitting in if you show up wearing blue, green, and gold. The tailgate at Notre Dame is rocking as you’ll surely find plenty of food and drinks to fill you up before the game. Fans at Notre Dame tend to provide the traditional tailgate fare as hot dogs, burgers, and brats are among the most popular food items here.  Grab some brews and some sausage before watching the Fighting Irish take down the opposition.

Traditions

Team Mass and Walk

The Irish used to attend Mass at Sacred Heart Basilica before walking to the stadium. However, the tradition has changed a bit as the team now attends Mass on Friday. If you want to catch the Irish before the game, you still can as they now walk to the stadium from The Gug. Get to the game early if you want a chance to catch a glimpse of the Irish before they take the field.

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Band Performances

There is a Bagpipe Concert at 11:30 in front of the Dome & the entire Band performs a concert with the Irish Guard at Bond Hall at 2 p.m. The band also leads the fans into the stadium before kickoff!

Knute Rockne Statue

The statue of this former Notre Dame head coach was unveiled on October 2, 2009, and gives the Notre Dame fans an excellent opportunity to relive their former glory. The Knute Rockne statue is a must-see for any Fighting Irish fan, so make sure to check it out during your visit.

Here Come The Irish

Every Thursday before game day weekend, Zahm House raises the “Here Comes The Irish” banner. You can see this while walking campus!

Golden Dome & Trumpets

The Golden Dome is one of the first things you’ll notice arriving on campus. It’s the tall, Golden Dome on top another Trumpets Under the Dome at 2:30 p.m., if you missed it on Friday.

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Friday Tunnel Tour

Each football Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., fans are invited to walk through the very same North Tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium that players have for the past 81 years

Pep Rally

The entire student campus, band, players, and alumni partake in a huge pep rally before every game. It’s super loud, fun, and the perfect way to kick-off your Notre Dame weekend. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the JACC, on the Irish Green, or in the Stepan center, it’s something that HAS to be done! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4_H-U89ha8

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Lou Holtz Statue

The statue of this former Notre Dame coach gives the fans the chance to relive the 1988 national championship season. Stop by and check it out before entering Notre Dame for the full Irish game day experience.

Grotto

Notre Dame has a replica of the Grotto that's in Lourdes, France. We suggest to light a candle and make a small donation to wish your team to victory!

Midnight Drum Circle

At Midnight before Gameday, all the drummers from the band form a circle and put on a performance. Take a break from Legends and head on over!

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Legends

The only on campus bar provides a great place to pregame and is only 100 yards from the stadium. The parking lot behind the bar also is also somewhere you should check out as it provides a good tailgating experience as well.

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Where to tailgate

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