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USC game weekend handled smoothly

Sara Felsenstein | Wednesday, October 26, 2011

While students and faculty enjoyed Fall Break, Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) and the Game Day Operations staff were hard at work preparing for Notre Dame’s first night game in over 20 years.

Mike Seamon, director for Game Day Operations and associate vice president of Campus Safety, said the preparations and execution of the weekend’s festivities went smoothly, especially considering the massive undertaking of readying campus for a night game.

“People thought the atmosphere and the energy in the stadium were really great. We thought it was a lot of good positive energy and people were excited,” Seamon said. “We’ve heard a lot of really good feedback.”

The game itself sold out, with more than 82,000 fans in attendance, but thousands more flocked to campus, Seamon said.

“It’s impossible to estimate, [but there were] somewhere north of 110,000 people on campus Saturday,” he said.

Seamon said he expected a high numbers of fans on campus due to the Notre Dame-USC rivalry, a prediction confirmed by the influx of visitors beginning Thursday afternoon.

“We knew there were going to be a lot more people on campus than a typical football weekend, which was great,” he said.

He said extra staff was added across the board, including parking staff, medical staff and security personnel to make sure Notre Dame was prepared for the weekend.

“We wanted to make sure the parking went well on [the] front-end and back-end of the game,” he said.

Dave Chapman, assistant director of NDSP, said police arrested six people Saturday. He said that outside the stadium, three were arrested — one for criminal mischief and resisting law enforcement, one for public intoxication and resisting law enforcement and one for trespassing.

Three were arrested for public intoxication in the stadium, Chapman said.

Seamon said Friday’s pep rally had over 16,500 people in attendance, making it the largest pep rally of the year.

“I thought that was really good [since] students were en route, coming back to campus,” he said.

About 4,200 people went through Friday’s tunnel tour, Seamon said, and Friday’s football luncheon had 1,760 attendees. He said it was the highest-attended luncheon of the year by far.

“These events were early indicators that an incredibly high number of people would be on campus Saturday,” Seamon said.

Given the unconventional circumstances of last weekend, Seamon said he was pleased with the results.

“For hosting the first night game in over 20 years, I thought it was a huge success,” he said.