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Blue-Gold weekend to bring crowds

Carly Landon | Friday, April 23, 2010

Tomorrow the Blue-Gold Game returns for the 81st time, bringing with it a fresh surge of Irish pride. 

As in years past, thousands will flock to campus to get a glimpse at how the team will operate this fall. 

Unlike many other years, however, a new fascination has latched itself to the weekend.

“Everybody is just so excited to see [Irish coach Brian] Kelly, and this is going to be the public’s first glimpse to see him in action and what he’s done to the team,” Game Day Operations Director Mike Seamon said. “If the weather cooperates, we are expecting to see huge crowds. Even with crowds, we are expecting 20,000. It could be 20,000 to 50,000.  We are prepared for both.”

Seamon said the game would be one of the season’s most popular events.

“I think next to Commencement, which is just focused on graduating seniors, this is clearly the biggest weekend in the spring here at Notre Dame,” he said. 

Although this weekend’s game is eight decades running, the activities and events featured will be anything but monotonous.

“Given the tremendous interests in Coach Kelly, I think its safe to say there will be unprecedented activities and events this weekend,” Seamon said. “It’s going to be bigger than anything we’ve done in the past.”

Notre Dame students are especially eager to gauge from the scrimmage how the team has already shifted under their new coach’s direction.

“Last year’s game was really exciting. Just to be in the stadium in the spring really pumped me up for the fall season,” sophomore Alexandra Unger said. “I think this Blue and Gold game will be even better because the football team is feeling really enthusiastic and Brian Kelly is causing a lot of excitement.”

The University will kick off the weekend Friday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. with a fan festival, open to the public, on the Irish Green, featuring games, food and activities.

That afternoon the University will reveal the new The Shirt.

“It’s going to start off with The Shirt unveiling at four at the bookstore. The new cheerleaders and the leprechaun and a number of other student groups will be there,” Seamon said. “Coach Kelly himself will unveil The Shirt itself at 5:45.”

Besides football, other Irish sports teams are also hosting home games this weekend which the University has incorporated into the events of the weekend.

“We are also dedicating the new Alumni Soccer Stadium,” Seamon said. “The men’s and women’s soccer teams are playing there Friday night.”

The baseball, softball teams will play on campus, and the women’s Big East tennis championships will be on campus as well, Seamon said.

Blue-Gold weekend ends Sunday with the South Bend Symphony playing at the Purcell Pavilion.

The event will feature over 700 musicians, Seamon said.