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Seating Policy Evokes Mixed Feelings

Charlie Ducey | Monday, September 2, 2013

Though within the Notre Dame community the appeal of Notre Dame football seems all but universal, the new seating policy enacted during Saturday’s football game garnered mixed reactions from students.

Through the 2012 season, students sat in assigned seats during home football games. After a group of students decided they would sit together during games, they would sign up as members of the same group and receive assigned seats together.

The new seating policy for the 2013 season mandates that students will receive tickets based on class year, but that within each section the seats will be general admission.

Sophomore Marissa Bowman said she initially thought that the new seating arrangement would generate undue stress among her peers.

“I thought that the tailgaters would be upset about getting bad seats,” she said.

Sophomore Matt O’Brien said his feelings remained mixed regarding the new seating policy at Notre Dame.

“The new seating system is a step forward, but it could be improved.  I would like to be able to sit with people in different classes, since I have an older brother and older friends at the university,” O’Brien said. “There are a lot of people in this situation. Over the last twenty years, we have always sat together, and it is extremely unfortunate that it is no longer the case.”

Sophomore Brian Lach said he approves of the new stadium seating setup.

“There is more manageability with general admission because there are fewer constraints on where you can sit, as opposed to assigned seating,” he said.

Senior Chris Andrews said he felt unsure about the changes. He said that students who arrived late to the game were unable to sit in their assigned sections.

“I felt that people were unsure when to arrive at the stadium to get the seats that they wanted, which made group coordination more difficult,” Andrews said.

When Leprechaun Legion president spoke to The Observer about the group’s intentions behind the seating policy, he said the goal was to create a “mutually beneficial” situation for players and students, facilitating a better game day experience for everyone involved.

“This new system allows people who want to be there to get close to the game, and it gets rid of the chance that they might be stuck in the top row,” Cunningham said in a April 19 Observer article.

Some fans said they felt concerned that the most spirited students would not end up at the front of their sections with the new arrangement, as the Leprechaun Legion hoped. However, freshman Gretchen Bruggeman, did not feel that this was the case.

“I think that it made more people more exciting about being in the front row,” she said. “There were a lot of freshmen there an hour early to get the best spots.”

She said she thinks the system was less hectic and better organized than her past experiences attending games as a visitor.

James Heisler, a junior, said he preferred the original method of student seating.

 “The system was not as bad as originally anticipated, but there is a proposal that I think would be better,” Heisler said.  “At the end of the day, the new seating system, while not perfect, does allow you the opportunity to randomly meet the love of your life your life as you search for a seat,” he said.