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‘A sense of community in Las Vegas’: Students return from Shamrock Series game

The annual Shamrock Series game took place this past weekend in Las Vegas, and students and fans traveled to Allegiant Stadium to watch the Fighting Irish take on BYU. 

“The energy at the game was super electrifying,” first-year Bella Vasquez, who attended the game with her family, said. “Everyone was so excited to be there.” 

Elizabeth Rhee, a first-year engineering student in Pasquerilla East Hall, echoed her sentiments.

“The energy was wild,” she said.

Both Rhee and Vasquez remarked on the strength of the Notre Dame presence, saying the fans were pretty evenly split between the teams.

Benjamin Nelson, a senior science business major from Keough Hall added, “It was kind of more like a bowl game than like a normal game.”

Junior biology major Heather Roland discussed the experience of being in an NFL stadium, as Allegiant is home to the Las Vegas Raiders.

“My dad’s a huge Raiders fan, so playing in the new stadium was … incredible,” Roland said. 

Students said that although it wasn’t quite the same as being at home in Notre Dame Stadium, the distance couldn’t derail some classic Irish traditions. Fans kept the spirit alive by doing touchdown push ups to celebrate the team’s success.

“I was glad we did the Alma Mater, because we don’t always do that at away games,” Roland said. 

As a member of the marching band, Rhee helped maintain this beloved tradition and spoke about how the group’s routine compared to normal.

“Times are mostly the same,” she said. “We have to wake up at a certain time, we have to rehearse.” 

However, she noted several key differences as well.

“We didn’t have any march outs,” she remarked, referencing the band’s tradition of marching from the Golden Dome to rehearsal on Fridays before game days.

“We just took a bus to travel to the place we needed to rehearse at,” she said.

Fan Fest, which took place in the parking lot, also replaced the classic Concert on the Steps, though Rhee said that the fans still brought excitement.

“It was mostly the same energy, same steps,” she summarized. 

Roland attended as a student manager for the football team.

“I work for defense, and they played very well, so I was very happy with that,” she said, continuing, “I was really glad that I got to go, very thankful for the opportunities I’ve gotten through my job as a student manager.”

Students who spoke with The Observer also discussed the environment throughout Las Vegas, seeing fellow students and fans throughout the city.

“You would see people out and about in Notre Dame shirts,” Nelson said.

“I would be walking around and [fans] would just be like, ‘Go Irish!’” Rhee added.

Vasquez spoke to this sense of community even so far from campus, emphasizing “how cool it was to see such a big turnout for our team and the support and the love for our school.” Nelson seemed to agree, saying that despite the travel, it was “100% worth it.”

Contact Keira Stenson at kstenson@nd.edu

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