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  • Notre Dame-Wisconsin Will Split Tickets Evenly For Two-Game Neutral Site Football Series

    Notre Dame and Wisconsin are "splitting the tickets evenly" for their two-game football series at Lambeau Field and Soldier Field, a "rarity for neutral-site college football games during the regular season," according to Jason Galloway of the WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL. The programs play at Lambeau Field in '20 and Soldier Field in '21. Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said, "That creates a unique atmosphere. That’s the same atmosphere you get at a national championship game, and the energy in the stadium when you do that, both sides will be very full. It’s going to be a great atmosphere." Galloway notes there are "already ongoing discussions for another future UW game at Lambeau Field." UW played LSU at Lambeau Field last season. This will be the first time since '64 the programs have played each other (WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL, 8/15).

    LAMBEAU LEAP: In Green Bay, Richard Ryman notes as the home team, Notre Dame will "control tickets in the bowl." The Packers will "make premium seat tickets available to its ticket holders first, as well as retain some tickets for internal use, similar to the Wisconsin-LSU arrangement." The LSU-UW game was "believed to have had an impact equal to or greater than a Packers home game, boosted by LSU fans arriving in large numbers as early as Thursday and renting meeting and convention spaces." But because Notre Dame-Wisconsin is in October, it "might not be as conducive to fans taking most of a week off to come to Green Bay, as they did over Labor Day weekend last year." On the other hand, many Notre Dame fans are "closer to Green Bay than were LSU fans." Meanwhile, Ryman reports the Packers paid Wisconsin $3M and LSU $2.5M for the game. The Packers "covered game expenses," and in return, they "got all ticket money, parking, concessions, sponsorship and merchandising revenue." Carmex Laboratories "sponsored Wisconsin-LSU, which was broadcast on ESPN." The Packers declined to "disclose financial arrangements for Wisconsin-Notre Dame." There will be no "outside sponsor of Wisconsin-Notre Dame." The Packers' goal is to have "one major non-Packers-football event at Lambeau Field every year," though none will be scheduled in '18, when the team "resurfaces the football field." The weekend before the Wisconsin-Notre Dame game, Whistling Straits in Kohler will host the Ryder Cup (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 8/15).

    WINDY CITY: In Chicago, Shannon Ryan notes both games are "designated as part of Notre Dame's Shamrock Series of neutral-site games." NBC will air the '20 game at Lambeau, and the Big Ten controls TV rights to the '21 game in Chicago. Notre Dame has "played 12 games at Soldier Field," most recently in '12 against Miami. The Wisconsin games will "extend Notre Dame's streak of playing in at least one active NFL stadium to 10 straight seasons." Wisconsin has played three games at Soldier Field, most recently in '11 against Northern Illinois. Last year's Wisconsin-LSU contest was the "first FBS game played at the Packers' stadium" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/15). In Milwaukee, Jeff Potrykus notes both Swarbrick and UW AD Barry Alvarez "anticipate the UW-Notre Dame game set for Soldier Field will be a hot ticket." Talks between UW and Notre Dame "began when Alvarez was still serving" as UW coach and AD. He "stepped down as head coach after" the '05 season. Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy said, "This series would not have come about if not for Barry with his strong connections with Notre Dame and Wisconsin." Murphy added that the Packers' Titletown District "should be open" in '20 (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/15).

    PERFECT SENSE
    : In South Bend, Mike Vorel writes this is a series that "makes sense from every angle: competitively, regionally, historically." Swarbrick: "These things are always a Rubik’s Cube when you’re trying to figure out how to put them together. One piece of it moves, and you’ve got to go back and try to refigure it. We had to stick with it, but in so many regards it came together exactly as we wanted it to." Swarbrick added that "experience is worthwhile" because it "decisively checks three different boxes." He said, "The first is the experience for our students who play football. The second is the competitive ramifications of the game, and the third is, how does it advance the university? What are the connections? What’s the story? I don’t know that we could have scheduled a game against an opponent in two venues that could have hit those marks more effectively than this two-game series" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 8/15).

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