A sold-out crowd of 82,000 witnessed the Irish season opener in the football stadium Saturday, Mike Seamon, director of Gameday Operations, said.
Police also made several arrests on campus, with one man stopped on campus outside the Stadium for public intoxication, according to a statement issued by Phil Johnson, director of Notre Dame Security Police.
“A man detained for public intoxication following a complaint of public indecency was transported to the hospital due to his high level of intoxication,” the release said. “This case will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review of charges.”
Seven arrests were made in the Stadium, and one person was transported to the hospital due to alcohol consumption, the release said. Thirty-three people were removed from the Stadium for rule violations — mostly impairment or possession of alcohol. There were no citations for underage alcohol violations outside of the Stadium.
An estimated 95,000 people were on campus Saturday, and Seamon said people flocked to attend game weekend activities.
“There was a lot of positive energy on campus,” he said.
Seamon said more than 1,500 attended a luncheon Friday where Irish coach Brian Kelly and cornerback Darrin Walls spoke. Seamon said he is predicting even more attendees for this Friday’s luncheon before the Michigan game.
“When you have the teams within driving distance, you have larger crowds,” he said.
The tunnel in the Stadium is open again this football season for fans during Fridays before home games, Seamon said. More than 4,900 people walked through the gates and onto the field.
Also available for the first time this season is transportation for those with walking difficulties, he said. Golf carts and pedal cabs are available, and more than 1,000 people took advantage of the golf cart rides.
“The pedal cabs were a huge success,” he said.” They were run by on-campus clubs, and the profits go back to the clubs.”
For the next home game, the Notre Dame Cycling club, women’s water polo club and Notre Dame ROTC will be operating the pedal cabs.
Friday night’s drummer’s circle saw a large attendance also, he said. Seamon estimated 3,000 fans showed up.
But attention has already turned to next week’s home game.
“We’re guessing we’ll break 100,000 people this weekend,” Seamon said.
He said gameday.nd.edu will have schedules for all gameday events for the rest of the season. Next week’s highlights include a student march to the pep rally on the Irish Green, which is the only parade down Notre Dame Avenue in recent history. And the U.S. Army Black Daggers will be parachuting in with the game balls and flags.
“People are happy and excited for the new era,” Seamon said.