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Irish and Trojans set for prime-time

Mar 30, 2011, 5:39 PM EST

HughesWin

As if you needed another reason to get excited for the Trojans to return to South Bend, Notre Dame announced today that the game will be played in prime-time, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff planned for the October 22nd showdown.

The match-up is the first home night game the Irish have played in 21 years, when the No. 1 rated Irish defeated the No. 4 ranked Michigan Wolverines 28-24. (The Irish will play the Wolverines in Ann Arbor at night on September 10th, the first ever at the Big House.) The switch to a late start for the USC game has been rumored for quite some time, but officially announced today in a release by the athletic department.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to play host to a home night game,” athletic director Jack Swarbrick said. ” While we will do this only on a selective basis, we think it is important to occasionally use the platform of a prime-time game to promote the University and our football program.

“When you look back at the previous home night games we’ve played, a number of those have been hallmark events in the history of our program. We are confident this year’s USC game will continue that tradition.”

Awesome news and another savvy play by Jack Swarbrick, getting the Irish under the lights and the dome for the first time in 21 years. If the usual Irish-Trojans showdown is electric, playing under the lights after a long day of festivities should have Notre Dame Stadium rocking. The inevitable questions of security and safety will surely be debated, but plenty of college football games get played at night, and finally one with be in South Bend.

Notre Dame finalized the rest of their home kickoff times, with every true home game kicking off at 3:30, with the exception of Boston College pushing back to 4:00 p.m. The Irish’s neutral site game against Maryland will start at 7:30 p.m. at FedEx Field.

  1. goldnd - Mar 30, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Does anyone know why there hasn’t been a night game in 21 years?

    • 1notredamefan - Mar 30, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      Would have to say “Tradition”! Saturday afternoons and ND is something to behold….. Although I love the decision and look forward to watching!

      Wonder what those seats will go for? Will a change in time change seat pricing? Gonna be the hottest ticket in football and if ESPN Gameday isn’t there? I suggest a complete boycott by all ND fans??? of espn that is

      May also have something to do with mass???

    • borromini - Mar 30, 2011 at 8:45 PM

      I remember someone posting some years back that the administration decided to stop night games due to pre and post game rowdy and inebriated crowds…particularly after the game. I seem to remember that the school at that time was in the process of taking several measures to reverse some negative feedback/experiences before, after and during games. This included calling off future games with Miami.

      I for one am glad to finally see night games return even if they only occur occasionally. This is an important aspect of recruiting nationally. ND/NBC needs to compete with ESPN in exposure and prime-time games are crucial to getting potential recruits to watch Irish games in the spotlight.

      • papadec - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:29 AM

        I sort of remember reading that usc doesn’t visit ND late in the season because they don’t want to play a cold weather game. A night game, in late October, could be a bit nippy. I gotta chuckle over that. What if it snows? Now we’re talking some serious belly laughs – ha, ha, ha, ha, ha………..

      • tedlinko - Mar 31, 2011 at 8:30 PM

        When I was there (86-90) we had several night games – including a couple of classics. But yes, as borromini says, the administration decided to end that tradition around the time I graduated, and yes the argument was that the late starts were allowing two much time for partying and causing too much rowdiness in the stands.

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