Vanderbilt football opens its road slate in 2018 with a marquee matchup against Notre Dame at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. The Commodores and Fighting Irish will square off on NBC at 1:30 p.m. CT on Sept. 15. Tickets to this historic matchup are now available, with priority given to 2018 Vanderbilt season ticket holders.
What can Vanderbilt fans look forward to on their trip to Notre Dame? We offer a fan’s guide to South Bend:
ON-CAMPUS LANDMARKS, EVENTS
• Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Open to the public all weekend except during mass.
• Main Building
Main Building is open during regular business hours. The unofficial kickoff of football weekend is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, when the trumpeters from the marching band perform in the atrium of the building before joining the rest of the band to march out for the pep rally. At midnight of that Friday, fans can witness the drumline’s Drummer’s Circle performance at the Main Building’s front steps, a Notre Dame preseason tradition.
• Hesburgh Memorial Library
Known worldwide for its Word of Life mosaic, or better known as Touchdown Jesus, on the south facade of the building.
• The Grotto
A one-seventh replica of The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, located between Saint Mary’s and Saint Joseph’s Lakes, which frame the northwest corner of campus.
Notre Dame hosts pep rallies on game-week Fridays at 6 p.m. Locations are announced in July but generally take place outdoors for games in September. Head coach Brian Kelly, a handful of student-athletes and the band attend the rallies. Notre Dame also hosts former players or famous alumni or fans as speakers at pep rallies. Past attendees include Jerome Bettis, “Rocket” Ismail, Lou Holtz, Regis Philbin and Vince Vaughn.
Notre Dame Stadium offers tours of the Stadium Tunnel on Fridays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (except during a visiting team walk-through). Fans can enter the Rockne Gate of the stadium and venture down the tunnel to the edge of the field.
The Guglielmino Athletics Complex is Notre Dame’s football facility and keeps its lobby open to the public between 8 a.m.-2 p.m. The lobby houses Notre Dame’s 1988 national title trophy, all seven Heisman Trophies and a trophy for every national individual award winner in Fighting Irish history.
• Eddy Street Commons, just off the south edge of campus has several restaurants and bars, including O’Rourkes Public House (family-friendly until about 10 p.m.), where Coach Kelly does his radio show on Thursday nights.
• Legend’s (family-friendly)
• Rohr’s and Sorin’s (Rohr’s is Irish pub style, Sorin’s more formal)
Near campus restaurants:
• Parisi’s Italian Restaurant
• The Linebacker
• Mulligan’s and Coach’s
Downtown South Bend:
• Carmela’s at Macri’s (fine Italian)
• Macri’s Italian Bakery (lunch/cafe/bakery)
• Corby’s Irish Pub (21+)
• Fiddler’s Hearth (family-friendly authentic Irish pub)
• South Bend Brew Werks (family-friendly brewery)
• Crooked Ewe Brewery
Most hotels are located in Mishawaka, a neighboring town to South Bend. Mishawaka offers several chain restaurants (Ruth’s Chris, Chili’s, etc.) and local options (Corndance, Evil Czech Brewery, etc.).
Tailgate lots open at 7 a.m. Permit parking lots are all over campus, with the traditional hub being the Stadium & Joyce Center lots, immediately south of the stadium.
Cash parking is on the north edge of campus and roughly a 15-20 minute walk to the Stadium or a five-minute shuttle ride. Nearby houses and empty lots also offer cash parking options.
The Fighting Irish walks as a team from the football building down the quad past Hesburgh Memorial Library and Touchdown Jesus towards Notre Dame Stadium. For Notre Dame’s 1:30 p.m. kickoff vs. Vanderbilt, the walk will begin at roughly 11:15 a.m. CT.