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Navy weekend features Compton rally, flyover

ANN MARIE JAKUBOWSKI | Wednesday, November 6, 2013

With one home football game left on the 2013 schedule, director of game day operations Mike Seamon said Saturday’s Navy game weekend went “incredibly well,” despite the chaos from an influx of visitors to campus.

“The Notre Dame-Navy relationship is certainly one of the most special relationships in all of college football, and we think this past weekend was a testament to that,” Seamon said. “Whenever we play Navy at home, we have a very high number of guests visit campus. We see a large number of Notre Dame fans who have a very sincere respect and high level of admiration for the Naval Academy, so they always mark this weekend to visit campus.”

Seamon said more than 100,000 people came to campus for the weekend, and one of the highlights was the Blue Angels flyover for the first time this year.

“We’ve been working hard with our ROTC programs and the military over the course of the past several months to try to get a flyover for one of our home games,” he said. “The sequester presented a unique challenge to [that]. Thankfully, the Blue Angels were open to coming to the Notre Dame-Navy game to celebrate our special relationship with a flyover.

“Two of the six jets were piloted by both a Naval Academy graduate and a Notre Dame graduate. We were grateful that the weather cleared just in time for the flyover and the game.”

Friday’s pep rally was the first ever to be held in the Compton Family Ice Arena, Seamon said, and drew a crowd of about 7,000 people.

“We decided to take advantage of the hockey team being on the road last weekend and open up the facility to our fans and guests, as many of them had never had the opportunity to visit the new facility,” he said. “We were able to honor and recognize the Blue Angels as part of the rally, [and] we received an overwhelmingly positive response to holding the rally in Compton, as everyone thought it was a loud environment.”

The stadium tunnel tour Friday saw a season-high total as well, with 5,190 participants, Seamon said. The Friday luncheon had 1,000 attendees.
Phil Johnson, director of Notre Dame Security Police, said despite the early rain, the day turned out well from his group’s standpoint.

“Traffic ran smoothly, and there were no crashes,” Johnson said. “Police made two custodial arrests Saturday. One man was arrested for shoplifting and possession of marijuana, the other for public intoxication.”

Johnson said police also issued citations for underage drinking to two local young people who were loitering in campus parking lots during the game.
Post-game traffic was more normal than traffic at the previous weekend’s USC game, Seamon said.

“Overall, it was another special weekend celebrating the long-standing Notre Dame-Navy relationship,” he said.

Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at ajakubo1@nd.edu