Irish to offer season tickets for first time in 30 years

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For the first time in more than 30
years, Notre Dame will make 5,000 season tickets available to
football games starting next season, charging a fee to help pay for
more than $40 million in repairs to Notre Dame Stadium.

The tickets will be offered first to alumni, donors and others
affiliated with the university ahead of the general public, Notre
Dame's executive vice president John Affleck-Graves said Thursday.

Within hours of announcing the season-ticket sale, the
university had received at least 750 requests for applications.
Affleck-Graves said if more than 5,000 applications are received
from those affiliated with the university, the tickets will be
distributed by lottery.

In addition to the cost of a season ticket, which is $413 this
year, there will be an annual fee of $2,000 per ticket for sideline
seats; $1,500 per ticket for seats in the corner of the stadium;
and $1,250 per ticket for end zone seats.

The revenue generated through the ticket plan will help pay to
repair and maintain the 76-year-old stadium, which was expanded to
80,795 seats before the 1997 season. Extensive work is needed in
the concrete seating bowl because of freeze-thaw damage. Major work
is expected to begin next summer.

The university decided against adding luxury boxes or allowing
corporate signs inside the stadium.

"We thought if we put in luxury boxes, it would change the look
and the feel of Notre Dame Stadium," Affleck-Graves said. "We
think our alumni body likes the comfort of the traditional feel in
the House that Rockne Built."

Affleck-Graves said the university did not want to use endowment
money or seek donors because that could take away from academic

He said none of the new season tickets will be drawn from those
now available in the general alumni lottery. The season tickets
will come from those that have been returned over the past several
years, along with a reduction in tickets distributed to visitors
through the academic departments, the university relations office
and the university president's office.

A waiting list for the potential future sale of season tickets
will be established after the current allotment has been sold. The
additional 5,000 season tickets will bring the total to between
20,000 and 25,000.

Season-tickets holders already pay a building fund fee, which
this past year was $350. Affleck-Graves said that fee will go up

The university also announced Thursday that it is revising how
it distributes tickets to make more tickets available to alumni
through its annual lottery.