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Notre Dame Football Game Day Guide

Few events in sports compare to Notre Dame football home games. Visiting to watch the Fighting Irish means stepping into an unmatched college football experience with limitless pageantry and tradition. Whether it's your first time or a return trip, use our guide to game day as a way to navigate your plans to visit.

For a complete listing of gameday events, visit Experience Notre Dame.

2023 Guidelines & Policies

Notre Dame is committed to a spirit of hospitality and a family friendly environment at home games to go along with legendary fan support and good sportsmanship. Keep reading for a detailed look at gameday guidelines. 

General Policies 

  • Gates to Notre Dame Stadium open 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
  • Vendors inside the stadium no longer accept cash. Payment must be via debit or credit card. 

Clear Bag Policy

  • Coolers, luggage, purses, backpacks, etc. are not allowed inside the stadium. Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC so they can be easily inspected. Small clutch bags or wallets are permitted. 


Tailgating in the parking lots is a Notre Dame tradition. Lots open at 8 a.m. and require a parking pass. Read our full tailgating guide for the policies you should know before setting up in the parking lot.

Football Fridays 

Football weekends are a full experience, beginning will before kickoff. These are some of the things you can and should do on Fridays before a Notre Dame home game. 

Football Fridays at the Eck 

Stop by the Eck Visitors Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Friday before a home game for all sorts of activities: Food, interviews with Notre Dame celebrities, student group performances and photo ops. Admission is free. 

Trumpets at the Dome

Head to the Main Building (with its Golden Dome on top) from 4:10-4:20 p.m. to see the Notre Dame Band's trumpet section play some favorite songs. It's a classic Notre Dame tradition.

Midnight Drummers Circle 

Every Friday during a home football weekend, just before midnight, the Notre Dame Drumline convenes in front of the Main Building. After the bells of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart chime for midnight, campus quiet is then broken for 45 minutes as the drumline plays cadences, the fight song and other fan favorites. It’s the official beginning of game day. Next stop, tailgating Saturday morning. 

Game Day 

After all the activities on Friday, it's time for game day. Tailgating lots open at 8 a.m. But there are a couple other traditions worth checking out before heading into the stadium.

Gameday Express

Transpo, the public transit system in South Bend, runs a free shuttle to Notre Dame on game days. The Gameday Express Route picks up at multiple locations in downtown South Bend and drops off visitors at McKenna Hall, across from the Eck Visitor Center. It runs for three hours before kickoff and two hours after the game ends. 

Victory March

Fans can gather to hear from head coach Marcus Freeman in front of the reflecting pool at Hesburgh Library (with Touchdown Jesus on the building). The team walks from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where they will attend mass, into Notre Dame Stadium. Performances from the band, cheer team and more will take place along the way.

Marching Band Step Off  

Anticipation for the game builds Saturday as the famed Notre Dame Marching band gathers in front of the Main Building (with the Golden Dome fixed atop). The band starts playing then marches toward the north tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium. It’s the soundtrack that leads you into kickoff.