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Bookstore prepares for last game

Laura Wilczek | Friday, November 17, 2006

When thousands of fans descend upon Notre Dame’s campus for fall football games, they come to cheer the Irish on to victory, listen to the band play and take a picture in front of Touchdown Jesus.

And many leave with campus with a piece of Irish merchandise to remember their weekend by.

The Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore is packed every weekend with alumni, fans and students eager to purchase a Notre Dame souvenir, and bookstore management predicts they will see similar volume for the last home game.

Director of Retail Operations Sally Wiatrowski said the Hammes Bookstore will be staffed with approximately three hundred employees this weekend to accommodate the expected 55,000 visitors. But Wiatrowski said the level of preparation for this weekend is the same as for every other football weekend in the fall.

“We bring the same level of intensity to our work every football weekend,” Wiatrowski said. “We want to make sure every fan has the best experience possible.”

This “level of intensity” must continue all weekend, as fans start to arrive at the bookstore as early as Friday morning and continue shopping through Sunday, Wiatrowski said. The busiest time during the weekend is right before the football game, “when there is no win or loss and fans are still happy,” she said.

The most popular items at the Bookstore are anything that “has Irish written all over it,” Wiatrowski said. This includes face tattoos, football jerseys and the hooded sweatshirt, which Wiatrowski described as the “college staple.”

Now that the football season is drawing to a close, the bookstore is preparing for the holiday season rush.

A large Christmas tree and decorative wreaths have been erected to give the bookstore a festive air. New holiday apparel will be in the bookstore and students can get their holiday shopping done before they return home for winter break.

Sophomore Diane Sullivan plans on buying Christmas gifts for her family before heading home for winter break.

“I am definitely going to buy my family Notre Dame gear,” Sullivan said. “Stuff that has Notre Dame on the front of it, probably either a shirt or a sweatshirt.”

Students do acknowledge that despite their good intentions to buy gifts for their family, they often buy a little something for themselves as well.

“I always end up buying myself the stuff they have displayed on the tables, or the stationery,” Sullivan said. “I love pretty stationery.”