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Lottery to grant 2,500 bowl tickets

Joe Piarulli | Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Notre Dame students will be getting their share of the sugar when the Irish play the LSU Tigers Jan. 3.

Of the 17,500 total Sugar Bowl tickets allotted to Notre Dame, 2,500 of those will be made available to students.

According to Director of Ticket Operations Josh Berlo and an e-mail sent to the student body, the ticket office is, like last year, holding a lottery to give students the opportunity to buy tickets for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl game against LSU. The contest will be Notre Dame’s second BCS game in a row.

Students are allowed to bring up to four student IDs, including their own, to Legends on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to get a lottery ticket.

If that number is one of the 2,500 numbers randomly chosen, the owner has the opportunity to buy one ticket on Friday at Gate B of the Notre Dame Stadium Ticket Office between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. at a cost of $125. Students may bring up to four winning lottery tickets with student IDs.

The one-ticket-per-winning-lottery-number limit is a change from last year.

“At the request of the students we reduced the limit from two to one [ticket] per student,” Berlo said.

The list of winning numbers will be available online at und.com/studentbowl beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Last year, 100 tickets were made available to Saint Mary’s seniors.

“We’re waiting on some of our demand numbers to come in, but we want to make as many available to [Saint Mary’s seniors] as we can,” Berlo said.

According to Berlo, the tentative plan is to give Saint Mary’s 100 tickets, like last year, in which case the College would run its own lottery. However, that amount remains uncertain until Wednesday, when applications from non-student groups are due. Berlo will then gauge the demand from those groups.

Berlo said he was happy about the match up in New Orleans. LSU is located only 700 miles away from New Orleans, which brings up the question of whether LSU will be better represented in the stands.

“It’s hard to say. Notre Dame has a tremendous following,” Berlo said. “The LSU fans, certainly based on proximity, are going to try to find their way in the building.”

Both LSU and Notre Dame were allotted 17,500 tickets, which is a standard bowl allotment that can vary according to stadium capacity. Notre Dame’s 15,000 non-student tickets are expected to be sold via a lottery open to all contributing alumni, Monogram Club members, season-ticket holders, parents of current students, and University faculty, staff and supporters.

Associate Athletic Director John Heisler believes the demand for Notre Dame’s 17,500 tickets will be very high.

“I’m not sure how you can go wrong with a BCS game,” he said. “Certainly, we’ve got a pretty substantial ticket allotment, and we would expect to use every bit of that.”

Last year, Notre Dame was initially allotted 15,000 tickets for the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State, but the final number was higher.

“The total allotments this year and last year are actually very similar,” Berlo said. “It depends on the bowl and the number of tickets the bowl makes available.”

The fact that Notre Dame was able to obtain more than the initial allotment last year does not necessarily mean that more than 17,500 tickets will be available this year, Berlo said.

“It’s less likely with the Sugar Bowl to be able to obtain more tickets than it was with the Fiesta [Bowl],” he said. “Each bowl is a little bit different in that regard.”

According to the LSU website, all 17,500 tickets allotted to the University have been sold to season ticket holders who requested tickets. LSU students may continue to request tickets online.

“Each athletic department is different and has its own unique philosophy on the distribution of tickets,” Berlo said.

Notre Dame’s distribution ensures that students will have a place in New Orleans Jan. 3.

“Basically our philosophy is to make a large percentage of tickets available to students,” Berlo said.