December 07, 2013
For the first time in history, the University of Notre Dame is headed to the metropolitan New York area for a postseason football bowl game. Notre Dame (8-4) will meet a yet-to-be-determined American Athletic Conference representative in the 4th New Era Pinstripe Bowl at 12:15 p.m. EST on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in 50,086-seat Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y.
It’s the fourth bowl appearance in as many seasons under Irish coach Brian Kelly, the fifth appearance for the Irish in the last six seasons and their eighth in the last 10 years. ESPN will televise the game and ESPN Radio also will carry the game. The Notre Dame IMG Football Radio Network also will carry the game.
December 06, 2013
On home game Saturdays, 700 individuals from 22 states and Canada enter through Gate A of the Football Stadium to report to the Usher Office. These individuals come together to make sure all fans have a fun and safe game experience at Notre Dame. They may scan your ticket as you enter the gate, they may help you find your seat, or they may help you with a question. Whatever it is that they do, they help to make your Game Day experience a great one. In recognition of their service to the University, we bring you the “Usher Report”, a series highlighting these gracious individuals who help to make Game Day at Notre Dame an experience unlike any other. This week we are highlighting, Paul Miller.
Each Football Friday, guests taking advantage of the Tunnel tour at Notre Dame Stadium are greeted with a cheerful, “Welcome to Notre Dame!” from a very tall gentleman with an unmistakable smile. His smile says, “I love Notre Dame and I am happy you are here.” Paul Miller is an Usher who is widely recognized by his peers and fans because of the infamous smile he has worn on his face during home game weekends for the past 35 years that he has been a part of the Usher Program.
Paul’s introduction to the Usher Program 35 years ago came somewhat unexpectedly, lucky for Paul. “Some things are just meant to be”, said Paul when describing how he became an Usher. "I had just finished The Dale Carnegie Course, and was sitting at a table with the freshman placement counselor from Bethel College at a pizza restaurant. He said during our conversation that he would like to find a replacement usher so he could resume playing soccer on Saturdays. I said I would like to be an usher. He placed my name in with Art James, the then Director of the Usher Program. In 1979 Art assigned Paul to be an Usher in Section 22 of Notre Dame Stadium and “the rest is history,” as Paul said.
Paul served as an Usher in Section 22 for twenty years. Then, in 1999 Paul was promoted to Supervisor of the Tunnel. For the past fourteen years Paul and his great team of ushers have provided excellent hospitality, security, and service. While they have the pleasure of welcoming fans, they also have the unique role of welcoming both the Notre Dame and visiting Marching Bands, cheerleaders, coaches and players to Notre Dame Stadium at the famous Tunnel gate.
In Paul’s nearly 35 years at Notre Dame, he has no doubt had some memorable moments. However, when asked what his most memorable moment has been while serving as a Notre Dame Usher, Paul said, “Three years ago on a football Friday, I met four brothers and their terminally ill father in the Tunnel. One of the sons asked me if I could get the father into the (Play Like a Champion) sign for a picture. After hearing the condition of the father, I agreed. I let him put his hand on the sign and took pictures of the event for him. The following year at the Blue & Gold game, the sons of this gentleman came over to me and said that their father had passed away. They shook my hand and thanked me for making their father’s dream come true.” Paul went on to tell us, “If you know me at all, you know that I shed some tears right then and there.”
While Paul’s duties require him to focus on ensuring campus and Stadium Policies are followed, he also has a sincere understanding of and appreciation for the magnitude of the Notre Dame experience for fans. “I most enjoy how we all seem to want to make the Notre Dame experience a moment in our guests’ lives,” explained Paul. For the passion of his team and the many individuals who help to make the Game Day experience incredible, Paul would like to say, “Thank you!”
For Paul, the Game Day experience has more to do with the Tunnel on Friday. “We get to meet with so many people from so many far flung places. On the Friday before the Navy game we met some rugby players from South Africa. On another occasion we met a lady from Thailand,” Paul explained. “So, as you can see, we at the Tunnel get to meet, talk to people and help make their Notre Dame experience a truly great one. And yes, some of these moments bring a tear to my eye.” Paul’s passion for the Notre Dame Game Day experience paired with his well known, “I love Notre Dame and I’m happy you’re here!” smile have made him an asset to and loved member of the Game Day team.
Paul, thank you for your commitment to our fans and your continued service to Our Lady’s University! … Read More
November 26, 2013
To Our Fans:
Thank you for your commitment to and passion for Notre Dame football and the Notre Dame Game Day experience. Each season our campus comes alive a bit more with each and every game. We love welcoming you to campus each weekend and sharing Notre Dame with you. We thank you for being respectful, passionate, and unwavering fans. Without you, the Game Day experience would not be the same.
To South Bend and the Surrounding Communities:
Thank you for hosting our thousands of fans each weekend. We thank your police and emergency responders for making game weekends safe and assisting fans when necessary. South Bend and the surrounding communities open their doors to make Irish fans from near and far feel at home each and every football weekend. The Notre Dame Football weekend experience would not be possible without the tireless efforts and incredible understanding of our neighbors.
To Our Partners Across Campus:
Thank you for all you do to make Game Day safe and fun for our fans and working staff. We could not have the remarkable Game Day we have with you. The many early mornings, late nights, and packed days are very appreciated by the Game Day team. You are an irreplaceable part our of team! … Read More
November 25, 2013
Thanks to all of our fans who braved the cold and came out to support our seniors! Also, big thanks to our Irish fans who shared their Game Day experiences with us throughout the season using #NDgameday! Check out our favorite #NDgameday photos from our final home game. #NDgameday will be back in 2014!
— Kristi Ewanick (@ImaDoMe_KE23) November 24, 2013
— John Affleck-Graves (@ND_JAG) November 24, 2013
— Brandon Fox (@_BrandonFox) November 25, 2013
— Jamie Nelson (@Brushfire12) November 25, 2013
… Read More
November 23, 2013
Effective for the 2013 Season
As part of an ongoing commitment to safety and security, the University of Notre Dame has adopted a new policy on bags and other items fans can bring into its football stadium on game days. Notre Dame strongly encourages fans to not bring ANY type of bags to the stadium.
- ALL backpacks, duffel bags, and tote bags will NOT be allowed in the stadium.
- ALL other small bags are subject to inspection at the stadium gates upon entrance.
- Diaper bags and medical device bags will be allowed but will be subject to inspection.
- Blankets, coats, ponchos, and other similar items will be allowed but will be subject to inspection.
We are taking every possible step to ensure minimal disruption or delay to stadium guests. Personal property and privacy will be respected at all times. We appreciate our fans’ cooperation and patience as the new policy is implemented. … Read More
November 23, 2013
2013 Notre Dame Football Senior Game
Each season Notre Dame Football seniors are recognized before the full team takes the field for the last home game. This year we will be recognizing 33 seniors prior to kickoff against BYU.
Be sure to arrive by 3:15 PM to join fellow Notre Dame fans in saying “thank you” to our seniors for their hard work and dedication! … Read More
November 23, 2013
Join Us for the Ultimate ND Fan Experience
The Notre Dame Experience will be open to the public from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM on Saturday, November 23rd in the Joyce Fieldhouse (north dome). Admission is free to the ND Experience. The ND Experience allows fans to emulate their favorite Irish player by participating in one of the three different interactive football games. Fans may also visit the other displays throughout the Notre Dame Experience for photo opportunities or to collect give-aways and samples for people of all ages.
Throughout the day, there will be entertainment including an autograph session with former Notre Dame football players, Notre Dame videos and programming and a visit by the Notre Dame cheerleaders and Leprechaun. Fans can enjoy concessions and drinks provided by Centerplate, pick up a souvenir from the Varsity Shop or charge your phone at the Sprint Charging Station in a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere. The festivities will wrap up at 3:00 PM with the showing of the Notre Dame Football ™ pre-game show on NBC and then the live broadcast of the game.
Events & activities for the BYU game include:
• Autograph session presented by Sprint from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM with former Notre Dame greats:
-Tony Rice & Brian Smith (11:30 AM – 12:30PM)
-Lee Becton & Reggie Brooks (12:30 PM – 1:30 PM)
• Notre Dame Cheerleaders shortly after noon
• Three different football skills challenge games and multiple photo opportunities
• Various giveaways and displays from the following partners:
-Notre Dame Group Ticket Sales … Read More
November 22, 2013
The Notre Dame-BYU football pep rally Friday (Nov. 22) will be held at the Compton Family Ice Arena on the University of Notre Dame campus. Make sure you arrive early to hear 2010 Alum Pat McKillen perform hits from his recently released album, the Red Headed Enemy. Doors will open at 4:15 p.m. EDT with the rally beginning at 6:00 p.m. As always, the rally is free and open to the public.
This will be the second football pep rally held at Compton. The rink will be covered and as many as 2,000 fans will be allowed on the floor directly in front of the stage. The facility itself seats just more than 5,000 spectators and seating is on a first come, first serve basis. The Notre Dame Marching Band, Leprechaun and cheerleaders will be in the house to help cheer on the Irish. The Compton Family Ice Arena will also hold a post-pep rally public skate. For more information click here.
Come out and support Coach Kelly, the 2013 Fighting Irish, and the seniors as we send them off for their last home game of the season against BYU.Read More
November 22, 2013
The Grotto at Notre Dame is one of the most breathtaking places in America. This replica of the Grotto of Our Lady in Lourdes, France, has become a very popular devotional location on campus. With more than 225,000 candles lit per year, people of all faiths travel to find peace in this place of quiet reflection. When asked how many visitors the grotto has each year Basilica Sacristan John Zack replied, “We have never kept a count of how many visitors come to the Grotto each year. It’s really impossible. I do know that I’ve been through there at all hours of the day and night, in all kinds of weather and, more than likely, there is someone down there praying.”
On home football weekends, fans come from all across the country to light a candle and say a quick prayer at this holy site. “We use approximately 7200 of the glass candles, but due to the limited space for those, we have started this year putting out smaller candles so more people have a chance to light a candle” says, Zack.
It is difficult, in fact, to find a Notre Dame faithful who does not possess at least one memory of the Grotto’s silent beauty. “For a sports fan, visiting Notre Dame for a football weekend is like a pilgrimage. You go there to be a part of something bigger. To be a part of the tradition. To be a part of history. But there’s something more, something higher involved. Hard to explain, but when you’re here, whether you’re religious or not, I think you can feel it. No football weekend would be complete without a visit to this peaceful shrine that sits in the shadow of the Golden Dome.”