SBD/December 23, 2013/Facilities

Notre Dame To Set Premium Ticket Prices For Fenway Park Game In '15

Fenway Park has not hosted a football game since the Patriots' '68 AFL season
Notre Dame officials are "expecting to fetch a premium price" for all tickets to the school's '15 football game against Boston College at Fenway Park, because the venue seats "roughly half the capacity of Notre Dame Stadium," according to Michael Vega of the BOSTON GLOBE. Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said, "To make the game work economically with that many seats, it will be a premium ticket price. ... We need the economics of the Shamrock Series games to approach the economics of a home game. When you’re reducing by half the amount of seat inventory you have, you do have to make an adjustment in price." Meanwhile, Fenway Park head groundskeeper Dave Mellor said that the conversion to football "would not pose any more issues than the conversion to a soccer pitch, which required the removal of the pitcher’s mound and the sodding of the clay infield." Vega notes the game will be televised by NBC, and "the last time a football game was at Fenway was the Patriots’ final home game of the 1968 AFL season" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/23). ESPN.com's Matt Fortuna reported Notre Dame "already has measured the field at Fenway to make sure there wouldn't be a recurrence of what happened when Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley Field in 2010." Swarbrick said, "We spent a lot of time mapping it, staking it. The Yankees will tell you when we went there the first time, we drove them crazy. We had to outline the entire field. We had to walk in and see it" (ESPN.com, 12/20). ESPN’s Chris Cotter said, "Hopefully both teams won’t be forced to use just one half of the field, like Illinois and Northwestern had to do at Wrigley three years ago” (“College Football Live,” ESPN2, 12/20)

LET ME CHECK MY SCHEDULE: In South Bend, Eric Hansen writes some of the "most intriguing wrinkles" in Notre Dame's upcoming football schedules are Swarbrick's "sprinkling some Southeastern Conference teams into the formula" as soon as '17 and "adding an extra home night game every other year to the current commitment of one a year -- likely beginning" in '15. Swarbrick said that he will "likely use some Shamrock Series games to reintroduce the SEC back into ND's regular-season schedule." Notre Dame's "increasing prime time exposure on NBC bumps up by one every other year," and there will be two night games a year in South Bend in alternating seasons, "likely beginning" in '15. Swarbrick said, "In the four-year period of time, from '13 to '16, the focus of what we're talking about today, we will play in nine of the 12 largest cities in the United States. The only three we won't play in during that four year period of time, Chicago we were just in (2012) and will be in again. Miami just doesn't happen to fall in the four-year period of time, but we will visit. And that leaves only Houston as a top 12 market that this schedule doesn't get us to, so we'll be looking to get to Houston." Hansen writes playing in "unique venues, playing schools with similar academic missions and standing and playing teams with former Irish assistants heading them (UMass and Nevada) also were boxes Swarbrick wanted to check" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 12/23).
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