Gameday/Notre Dame for Visitors, and First Timers

dad4aa

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Going to my first ND game against USC. Going to be driving up from Philly the night prior. Just got my tickets so I’m a little late to the hotel scene, any advice for finding a last minute spot to crash in the area that won’t break the bank?

Also any other advice for things to check out before or after, bars and what not would be cool too. Should be an awesome to experience ND Vs USC night game for my first game.

How many of you coming?
 

SouthSideChiDomer

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Hotel's are going to break the bank if you can find one. Some have a two day minimum. I would look for something about 20-30 miles out. Prices should be lower and it's a relatively short drive.

Yeah, hotels in the area are ridiculous. You can usually find a place for a decent price per person on airbnb if you have a group.
 

phillyirish

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How many of you coming?

Just two, me and one other.

If it were a day trip, I’d probably just go to Chicago or Indianapolis afterwards. But being a night game it probably won’t end till like 11pm. So afterwards I’ll probably either bring celebrating at a bar or drinking myself away to forget.
 

Some Irish Bloke

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I agree with Irish#1; your best bet is to get something about 30-45 minutes outside of South Bend, which is what I've done in the past. A lot of these towns have gotten wiser to ND game weekends, so you still might be paying $150-200 per night for some shit 3 star hotel, but it's better than the $400+ you'll be paying anywhere in the South Bend/Mishawaka area.

I'll say this though, it's worth every penny. Enjoy your first ND game!
 

Irish#1

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I agree with Irish#1; your best bet is to get something about 30-45 minutes outside of South Bend, which is what I've done in the past. A lot of these towns have gotten wiser to ND game weekends, so you still might be paying $150-200 per night for some shit 3 star hotel, but it's better than the $400+ you'll be paying anywhere in the South Bend/Mishawaka area.

I'll say this though, it's worth every penny. Enjoy your first ND game!

Hotels in Plymouth, IN have caught on. We've stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Plymouth, but they now charge $300 for a night.

Funny story.......We decided at the last minute to come to a game and could only find what I would describe as less than stellar hotel in Plymouth. First thing we did, was go buy new sheets and pillows. Get back to the room after the game around 1:00AM. About the time we're falling a sleep, we hear the door for the room next door close with a bang. Evidently some dude and lady)?) were hooking up for the night. They start grinding and all we hear is this lady moaning and and encouraging the dude to give her more. "Oh Yeah, I love it, More!" This goes on for over an hour (guys stamina was impressive). Finally, the wife gets up, goes to the wall and starts banging on it. "For Gods sake, will you hurry up and finish, I'm trying to sleep!" I'm laughing my ass off when we hear a loud moan from the lady, then nothing but quiet. I guess they just needed a little encouragement. lol
 

dad4aa

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There is a Baymont by Wyndham in Dowagiac, Michigan for $85 a night right now for the weekend of the game. Dowagiac is a small town about 30 minutes north of campus.
 

clashmore_mike

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Check out Airbnb also. I got one about a 20 min drive from campus for the last USC game and was able to do so for just one night.
 

Greenore

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i think I wrote this earlier in this thread but we had a GLORIOUS game day experience v USC in 2015.

Might be a little late now but seriously consider the Bus2NotreDame out of Chicago. Accommodation and food experiences are almost unlimited and the city was buzzing with anticipation. The USC game we attended was a night game and the bus left around 10:00 a.m. Breakfast, drinks, tailgating and a very late dinner were all provided. We paid $125 per person.

We arrived on campus around 12:30 which gave us plenty of time to take a lot in... a lot! People were so helpful and generous, particularly when they found out we travelled a long way to cheer for The Irish.

We had the benefit of attending with a gentleman who had been to a few games and attended coaching clinics at ND. He was an amazing guide and knew where things were happening. The best advice he gave? Don't drink too much... alcohol or otherwise. The line-ups to the washrooms and porta-potties were CRAZY!

I've been pretty fortunate in my life and the ND experience ranks among my very best experiences. I hope I get the opportunity to go back.

Cheers and Go Irish!!

Found the link to my friends article:

https://www.18stripes.com/evolution-notre-dame-football-fan-campus-tour/

If this violates any "cross-linking", Mods, please feel free to delete. No offence intended.
 

arndtjc

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I stay in Chesterton, IN. It’s perfect for me flying into Midway; 45 mins from the airport, 45 minutes into campus. It’s got a nice little main street area with good eats, craft beer, and a dive bar you can get need-help-walking drunk on $30 open til 3 am. USC weekend is crazy around campus, it just feels different, because it is different. You’re gonna have a blast
 

phillyirish

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Thanks for all the recommendations everyone. Someone even was kind enough to offer me a place to stay. But I found a good deal in Elkhart, less than 30 min from campus, and it’s right on my route back too so that’s convenient for the trip back.
 

pumpdog20

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Anyone have suggestions on where I could park on Friday (for free?) during the day to tour campus/bookstore?
 

Some Irish Bloke

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Anyone have suggestions on where I could park on Friday (for free?) during the day to tour campus/bookstore?

Yeah, unless anything's changed since my last pep rally four or five years ago, you should be able to park at the Bookstore lot for free.
 

irishff1014

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Of course this is my first game I’ll be going too. Other than distance any benefits from flying in to ohare or Chicago midway?
 

calvegas04

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Of course this is my first game I’ll be going too. Other than distance any benefits from flying in to ohare or Chicago midway?
I have only flown into ORD before but I would just fly into whatever is cheaper
 

ulukinatme

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Bookstore fills up really fast.

Stadium parking is only a couple bucks I think.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think stadium parking is pass only, and those usually run $100+.

[EDIT] Just saw this was from last year, don't mind me.
 

forkbeard3777

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**FIRST TRIP TO SOUTH BEND**

Good afternoon, all.

My father, little brother, and future brother-in-law and I are coming up from Houston, TX, and will be making our first ever trip to South Bend for the Pitt game - October 28th. Foremost, we have no real ties to the university; however, I've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Notre Dame. I cannot pinpoint the exact linchpin - whether if it's the gold dome, touchdown Jesus, the shiny, golden helmets, Rudy, the victory march and rakes of mallow, and so forth, but it's there.

Being that we are diehard college football fans, our respect and admiration for Notre Dame, and general family bonding, this trip is paramount and an absolute must.

We'll be arriving in Chicago and making it to South Bend Friday morning and will be leaving Sunday .

That said, your help, tips, and suggestions "planning" our trip and advice is greatly appreciated. I'd like to treat this trip as "Notre Dame-centered" as much as possible. Said another way, I've been to plenty great restaurants, breweries, cocktail bars, and so forth across the U.S. I'm not looking to go to some place that, albeit maybe good or great, if it's out of the way and doesn't have any real Notre Dame connection or "Notre Dame feel" to it. We're coming to Notre Dame/South Bend to be entrenched in the whole experience, not to eat or drink at some random and/or generic place.

FRIDAY

Weather permitting, I'd really like to see and be on the campus most of the day. Take a jog around the school, visit the bookstore, etc. I believe events are released the week prior to the game (pep rally, etc.), but can you help me out a little more here. Is it possible to get into the stadium the Friday before to see it at field level? What about the pep rally? Is it possible to see the helmets being painted like in Rudy? I'm already planning on going to the midnight drum circle. Any suggestions on popular places to eat and drink Friday?

SATURDAY

- Before the Game

Much like Friday, weather permitting, I'd like to be outside (and preferably not holed-up in a dark bar) as much as possible taking it all in. Can you fill me in on absolute musts? Trumpets under the Dome? Concert on the steps? Is there a path where you can follow the band and the Irish guard march to the stadium? Can you tailgate on campus or is it just confined to certain restricted areas (i.e., parking lots)? Is it worth the time trying to venture into the parking lot tailgate areas? Look, I've tailgated at LSU, the Grove at Ole Miss, for an Iron Bowl, and with the Vol Navy...all were great, unique experiences. That said, I'm not looking to get soused in a parking lot and miss something really cool and unique. Any advice here?

In addition, what's the alcohol policy like on gameday? Open containers acceptable? Do they need to be in cups (Oxford, MS law)? Is it worth it to snag a a steak sandwich from the Knights of Columbus? How long does that approximately take?

- After the Game

After the Irish win, what's a good post-game celebratory ND spot/bar/restaurant to tip back a few too many pints, grab a bite, and catch some football? I presume everything will be crowed, but nothing that we aren't used to.

SOUTH BEND RESTUARANTS

Lastly, I've been compiling a list of South Bend restaurants and bars. Please feel free to chime in on them (i.e., good, bad, an absolute must, skip, too young, too old, etc.) Any and all tips and suggestions are much appreciated:
  • Corby's Irish Pub
  • Linebacker Lounge
  • Fiddler's Hearth
  • Rocco's Pizza
  • Barnaby's Pizza
  • Legends
  • O'Rourke's
  • Brother's Bar and Grill
  • Danny Boy Draft Works
  • Taphouse on the Edge
Anything I can omit? Any place I'm missing? Any old school ND spots that I must include?

CAMPUS

I plan on seeing essentially the entire campus, but do you have any favorite spots on gameday? I've seen pictures of Adirondack chairs and tables on the library lawn facing touchdown Jesus. Any places that you'd recommend focusing time and energy on?

Thank you all, and Go Irish!
 
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notredomer23

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**FIRST TRIP TO SOUTH BEND**

Good afternoon, all.

My father and I are coming up from SEC country and will be making our first ever trip to South Bend for the Pitt game - October 28th. Foremost, we have no real ties to the university; however, I've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Notre Dame. In addition, we are not Catholic, we are "Catholic-lite" (i.e., Episcopalian). That said, Notre Dame has always maintained a special place in my heard, and I'd considered myself more than just a "casual fan". I cannot pinpoint the exact linchpin - whether if it's the gold dome, touchdown Jesus, the shiny, golden helmets, Rudy, the victory march and rakes of mallow, and so forth, but it's there.

That said, my two very young children are growing older (making weekend trips much more difficult) and, unfortunately, my father isn't getting any younger. Being that we are diehard college football fans, our respect and admiration for Notre Dame, and general father-son bonding, this trip is paramount and an absolute must.

So, that said, I've combed through various posts, articles, YouTube videos, and so forth on what to see and what to do. I've read through all eleven pages, and would still like to reach out to you for tips, suggestions, dos/don'ts, must-sees, okay to skip, and so forth.

We'll be arriving in South Bend Thursday evening (October 26th) and will be leaving Sunday (the 29th). I've been to most of the SEC stadiums, and given how excited we are, I splurged on the hotel. We're staying at the Fairfield Inn directly across from the stadium and the Irish green. Put simply, I didn't want to waste any time whatsoever dealing with Uber, Lyft, taxi, parking, etc. I'll spend a few extra hundred dollars a night to maximize on this experience. I also want to be on or very close to the campus and stadium and hopefully will be spending as much time there as possible.

That said, your help, tips, and suggestions "planning" our trip and advice is greatly appreciated. I'd like to treat this trip as "Notre Dame-centered" as much as possible. Said another way, I've been to plenty great restaurants, breweries, cocktail bars, and so forth across the U.S. I'm not looking to go to some place that, albeit maybe good or great, if it's out of the way and doesn't have any real Notre Dame connection or "Notre Dame feel" to it. We're coming to Notre Dame/South Bend to be entrenched in the whole experience, not to eat or drink at some random and/or generic place.

THURSDAY NIGHT

We've got about an eight hour drive that we'll be facing, and we'll most likely be getting in fairly late in the evening Thursday. Probably around 7:00PM. Google Maps shows a couple of spots by our hotel - O'Rourke's Public House, Brother's Bar and Grill, Legends on campus, Rohr's at the Morris Inn. We're also not opposed to venturing to the Linebacker Inn, Taphouse on the Edge, Danny Boy Draft Works, and such to eat, have a few drinks, and catch the college and/or NFL action that night.

Any recommendations? Is there anything going on Thursday nights that's focused around the game (example - coach's call in show?)

FRIDAY

Weather permitting, I'd really like to see and be on the campus most of the day. Take a jog around the school, visit the bookstore, etc. I believe events are released the week prior to the game (pep rally, etc.), but can you help me out a little more here. Is it possible to get into the stadium the Friday before to see it at field level? What about the pep rally? Is it possible to see the helmets being painted like in Rudy? I'm already planning on going to the midnight drum circle. Any suggestions on popular places to eat and drink Friday?

SATURDAY

- Before the Game

Much like Friday, weather permitting, I'd like to be outside (and preferably not holed-up in a dark bar) as much as possible taking it all in. Can you fill me in on absolute musts? Trumpets under the Dome? Concert on the steps? Is there a path where you can follow the band and the Irish guard march to the stadium? Can you tailgate on campus or is it just confined to certain restricted areas (i.e., parking lots)? Is it worth the time trying to venture into the parking lot tailgate areas? Look, I've tailgated at LSU, the Grove at Ole Miss, for an Iron Bowl, and with the Vol Navy...all were great, unique experiences. That said, I'm not looking to get soused in a parking lot and miss something really cool and unique. Any advice here?

- After the Game

After the Irish win, what's a good post-game celebratory ND spot/bar/restaurant to tip back a few too many pints, grab a bite, and catch some football? I presume everything will be crowed, but nothing that we aren't used to.

SOUTH BEND RESTUARANTS

Lastly, I've been compiling a list of South Bend restaurants and bars. Please feel free to chime in on them (i.e., good, bad, an absolute must, skip, too young, too old, etc.) Any and all tips and suggestions are much appreciated:
  • Corby's Irish Pub
  • Linebacker Lounge
  • Fiddler's Hearth
  • Rocco's Pizza
  • Barnaby's Pizza
  • Legends
  • O'Rourke's
  • Brother's Bar and Grill
  • Danny Boy Draft Works
  • Taphouse on the Edge
Anything I can omit? Any place I'm missing? Any old school ND spots that I must include?

Thank you all, and Go Irish!

You can avoid Brother’s. It used to be a decent spot but I returned last year for a game and it’s gone majorly downhill. If you go to Rocco’s, be ready to wait, but for South Bend cuisine, it is worth it. Not sure what type of vibe you’re looking for, but would probably leave Corby’s by 10 or so.
 

drayer54

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Legends… did it once and never again. It’s the sort of thing you do when all other options erode….

Linebacker Lounge is a favorite of mine, but it isn’t nice. It’s just a tradition for me.

If you walk South from the stadium, you’ll have plenty of options on Eddy St. and you can pick the one that has the least line or crowd that feels right.

Danny Boys is good, IMHO. It’s got a good Mexican beer too FWIW. I wouldn’t go too far out of my way for it though.

Corby‘s hours can be weird and it’s a bar. Get a beer and re-live Rudy then leave. It’s also not the best location compared to everything else, IMHO.

Campus is fun on game day. South side parking lot is the best tailgating. The typical postcard places all make for nice walk. Book store is a little out of the way. Go light a candle and try to catch a victory march under the dome.

Have fun!
 

forkbeard3777

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Legends… did it once and never again. It’s the sort of thing you do when all other options erode….

Linebacker Lounge is a favorite of mine, but it isn’t nice. It’s just a tradition for me.

If you walk South from the stadium, you’ll have plenty of options on Eddy St. and you can pick the one that has the least line or crowd that feels right.

Danny Boys is good, IMHO. It’s got a good Mexican beer too FWIW. I wouldn’t go too far out of my way for it though.

Corby‘s hours can be weird and it’s a bar. Get a beer and re-live Rudy then leave. It’s also not the best location compared to everything else, IMHO.

Campus is fun on game day. South side parking lot is the best tailgating. The typical postcard places all make for nice walk. Book store is a little out of the way. Go light a candle and try to catch a victory march under the dome.

Have fun!

Thanks for the detail. Just out of general curiosity, can you fill me in on why you didn't care for Legends? Looking at its location and pictures, it's like a Notre Dame shrine. Is it just stale? Seeing as we're planning to be on campus most of Friday, is it worth grabbing lunch at and a couple of beers on Friday?

Regarding Corby's - we're not looking to shut the place down or rub elbows with a bunch of undergrads. That ship has sailed and I've gotten that out of my system. It sounds like it may be worth to check out for a beer or two Thursday night or right before dinner on Friday evening?

Linebacker Lounge - again, judging from pictures - looks like an old school, authentic dive. I'm all for it. It looks to be an absolute must.

Thanks again, and please feel free to opine more.
 

GATTACA!

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Legends… did it once and never again. It’s the sort of thing you do when all other options erode….
Legends used to be good spot to go and chill before the game back when they had the $15 cover charge. Get a big portion of pretty decent food and watch all the early games on a wall of TVs.

Price just kept going up and up though catering to heavy drinkers. We don’t even bother anymore.
 

ulukinatme

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Trumpets Under the Dome is one of my favorite Gameday traditions, I try to hit it anytime I'm in South Bend but honestly it's something most people can experience once and not need to go again. It happens roughly an hour and 15ish minutes before kickoff, but if you want a good spot you'll need to show up probably a half hour earlier or better. That's the only crummy part, it's a popular thing and the Dome fills up fast. I like to get a spot at the very top so you can look down and see all the trumpets and the people cheering on the bottom floor. On the plus side shortly after this the band starts congregating outside the Dome and they get ready to march and play on their way to the Stadium, I usually like to follow them in too during this (Another Gameday tradition for me). It's worth experiencing once, it's awesome feeling the energy and the acoustics in there as they play and everyone cheers, but if you're strapped for time I wouldn't sweat it.

 

SouthSideChiDomer

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**FIRST TRIP TO SOUTH BEND**

Good afternoon, all.

My father and I are coming up from SEC country and will be making our first ever trip to South Bend for the Pitt game - October 28th. Foremost, we have no real ties to the university; however, I've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Notre Dame. In addition, we are not Catholic, we are "Catholic-lite" (i.e., Episcopalian). That said, Notre Dame has always maintained a special place in my heard, and I'd considered myself more than just a "casual fan". I cannot pinpoint the exact linchpin - whether if it's the gold dome, touchdown Jesus, the shiny, golden helmets, Rudy, the victory march and rakes of mallow, and so forth, but it's there.

That said, my two very young children are growing older (making weekend trips much more difficult) and, unfortunately, my father isn't getting any younger. Being that we are diehard college football fans, our respect and admiration for Notre Dame, and general father-son bonding, this trip is paramount and an absolute must.

So, that said, I've combed through various posts, articles, YouTube videos, and so forth on what to see and what to do. I've read through all eleven pages, and would still like to reach out to you for tips, suggestions, dos/don'ts, must-sees, okay to skip, and so forth.

We'll be arriving in South Bend Thursday evening (October 26th) and will be leaving Sunday (the 29th). I've been to most of the SEC stadiums, and given how excited we are, I splurged on the hotel. We're staying at the Fairfield Inn directly across from the stadium and the Irish green. Put simply, I didn't want to waste any time whatsoever dealing with Uber, Lyft, taxi, parking, etc. I'll spend a few extra hundred dollars a night to maximize on this experience. I also want to be on or very close to the campus and stadium and hopefully will be spending as much time there as possible.

That said, your help, tips, and suggestions "planning" our trip and advice is greatly appreciated. I'd like to treat this trip as "Notre Dame-centered" as much as possible. Said another way, I've been to plenty great restaurants, breweries, cocktail bars, and so forth across the U.S. I'm not looking to go to some place that, albeit maybe good or great, if it's out of the way and doesn't have any real Notre Dame connection or "Notre Dame feel" to it. We're coming to Notre Dame/South Bend to be entrenched in the whole experience, not to eat or drink at some random and/or generic place.

THURSDAY NIGHT

We've got about an eight hour drive that we'll be facing, and we'll most likely be getting in fairly late in the evening Thursday. Probably around 7:00PM. Google Maps shows a couple of spots by our hotel - O'Rourke's Public House, Brother's Bar and Grill, Legends on campus, Rohr's at the Morris Inn. We're also not opposed to venturing to the Linebacker Inn, Taphouse on the Edge, Danny Boy Draft Works, and such to eat, have a few drinks, and catch the college and/or NFL action that night.

Any recommendations? Is there anything going on Thursday nights that's focused around the game (example - coach's call in show?)

FRIDAY

Weather permitting, I'd really like to see and be on the campus most of the day. Take a jog around the school, visit the bookstore, etc. I believe events are released the week prior to the game (pep rally, etc.), but can you help me out a little more here. Is it possible to get into the stadium the Friday before to see it at field level? What about the pep rally? Is it possible to see the helmets being painted like in Rudy? I'm already planning on going to the midnight drum circle. Any suggestions on popular places to eat and drink Friday?

SATURDAY

- Before the Game

Much like Friday, weather permitting, I'd like to be outside (and preferably not holed-up in a dark bar) as much as possible taking it all in. Can you fill me in on absolute musts? Trumpets under the Dome? Concert on the steps? Is there a path where you can follow the band and the Irish guard march to the stadium? Can you tailgate on campus or is it just confined to certain restricted areas (i.e., parking lots)? Is it worth the time trying to venture into the parking lot tailgate areas? Look, I've tailgated at LSU, the Grove at Ole Miss, for an Iron Bowl, and with the Vol Navy...all were great, unique experiences. That said, I'm not looking to get soused in a parking lot and miss something really cool and unique. Any advice here?

In addition, what's the alcohol policy like on gameday? Open containers acceptable? Do they need to be in cups (Oxford, MS law)? Is it worth it to snag a a steak sandwich from the Knights of Columbus? How long does that approximately take?

- After the Game

After the Irish win, what's a good post-game celebratory ND spot/bar/restaurant to tip back a few too many pints, grab a bite, and catch some football? I presume everything will be crowed, but nothing that we aren't used to.

SOUTH BEND RESTUARANTS

Lastly, I've been compiling a list of South Bend restaurants and bars. Please feel free to chime in on them (i.e., good, bad, an absolute must, skip, too young, too old, etc.) Any and all tips and suggestions are much appreciated:
  • Corby's Irish Pub
  • Linebacker Lounge
  • Fiddler's Hearth
  • Rocco's Pizza
  • Barnaby's Pizza
  • Legends
  • O'Rourke's
  • Brother's Bar and Grill
  • Danny Boy Draft Works
  • Taphouse on the Edge
Anything I can omit? Any place I'm missing? Any old school ND spots that I must include?

CAMPUS

I plan on seeing essentially the entire campus, but do you have any favorite spots on gameday? I've seen pictures of Adirondack chairs and tables on the library lawn facing touchdown Jesus. Any places that you'd recommend focusing time and energy on?

Thank you all, and Go Irish!
I believe they do tours of the stadium on Friday, but it is something you have to pay for, so I don't think you can just jump in at any time.

For Thursday, O'Rourkes and then the Backer would probably be a good idea. Both within walking distance of the hotel and neither should be massively crowded. The Backer is an absolute dive, but its something to say you've done it.

If you are jogging on Friday, you might like this map. The red route has some pretty cool views. It passes the spot where Rudy finally got accepted in the movie and the spot at St. Mary's lake where a ton of the cool pictures of the Dome over the lake are taken.

Also, if you are spending a lot of time on campus Friday and want an ND specific meal, you could grab a meal at the South Dining Hall. The food is nothing special, but the building is pretty cool. They also have meals after the game that I know a lot of people go to if you are okay with separating your post game food from your post game drinks and watching other football.
 

drayer54

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Thanks for the detail. Just out of general curiosity, can you fill me in on why you didn't care for Legends? Looking at its location and pictures, it's like a Notre Dame shrine. Is it just stale? Seeing as we're planning to be on campus most of Friday, is it worth grabbing lunch at and a couple of beers on Friday?

Regarding Corby's - we're not looking to shut the place down or rub elbows with a bunch of undergrads. That ship has sailed and I've gotten that out of my system. It sounds like it may be worth to check out for a beer or two Thursday night or right before dinner on Friday evening?

Linebacker Lounge - again, judging from pictures - looks like an old school, authentic dive. I'm all for it. It looks to be an absolute must.

Thanks again, and please feel free to opine more.
If Legends was anywhere else, you wouldn’t go there. I’ve only been on game day and they were overwhelmed and serving some basic throw it out on the table food. For the cover, line, and hassle- do anything else. You’d be better off getting food from any of the pop up tents that the clubs have. ROTC tends to be north side by the Library and is my tent of choice.
 
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