July 6, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. -
Demand for Notre Dame football tickets among the University's alumni, friends and fans remains historically high, but modifications to the ticket lottery process have dramatically improved alumni access to tickets for the 2007 season.
Notre Dame alumni, undergraduate parents and benefactors who make an annual minimum contribution to the University ($100 for this season; $200 beginning with this calendar year for next season) are eligible to apply for two tickets to as many home and away football games as they choose. In excess of 30,000 tickets per game are available for each home contest for contributing alumni. Any time the number of applications exceeds the supply, a lottery is held - and lotteries were required for all seven 2007 home games (meaning each game reached sellout status).
Athletic department ticket office projections indicate that even with the continuing high demand for tickets, alumni win rates will be significantly better in this year's lottery than in 2006 for both home and away games. Alumni who followed the University's advice to apply for tickets to at least five or more of this year's seven home games, for the most part, will win tickets to one or more home games this season. That is in sharp contrast to a year ago, when many alumni missed out entirely due to unprecedented demand.
"The mission of the ticket lottery is to give as many Notre Dame alumni as possible the opportunity to make at least one visit to the campus each fall to enjoy the camaraderie and competition of a Fighting Irish football weekend," said John Affleck-Graves, the University's executive vice president. "We appreciate those in the Notre Dame family who continue to support the University and its football team, and we thank them for their willingness to adjust to the improvements and modifications we've made in the ticket lottery and distribution process to help us realize the overarching goal of widespread alumni access."
Senior alumni requests for their designated game, Michigan State on Sept. 22, exceeded last year's record requests by 30 percent. Consequently, for the first time in Notre Dame ticket lottery history, a special senior alumni lottery was required. In this lottery, preference was given to the most senior alumni; for example, tickets were assigned first to those who graduated 50 or more years ago, and then descending in years since graduation. Increased demand from the rapidly growing senior alumni population was anticipated last fall and the priority system was designed at that time.
For a second straight year, separate lotteries also were held for members of giving societies and the Monogram Club.
"The vast majority of requests from the giving societies for home games are fulfilled," said Affleck-Graves, "but in order to meet our overall goal of broad-based access, we simply are unable to meet every need."
Alumni ticket requests in 2006 set numerous records, and the demand this year is nearly as strong. For example:
The Oct. 20 Notre Dame-USC game qualifies as the second-highest requested game in the history of the University's ticket lottery with 61,685 requests (last year's Penn State game had the most at 66,670).
Three '07 home games rank in the all-time top 10 for requests - USC, Michigan State (seventh, at 55,149) and the Oct. 13 Boston College game (eighth at 54,922) - and four games rank in the top 25 (the season-opener Sept. 1 against Georgia Tech had 45,283 requests to rank 24th).
The Oct. 6, Notre Dame-UCLA game in Los Angeles qualified as the fourth most-requested road game in Irish ticket history.
Beginning July 16, the Notre Dame ticket office expects to mail refunds worth more than $8.6 million to unsuccessful lottery participants (the second-highest total in history, compared with refunds of $11.7 million a year ago).
The Notre Dame ticket office currently is finalizing the lottery and preparing refund checks. Lottery results will be available beginning July 11 (Wednesday) on-line at www.und.com/tickets or by calling 574-631-7356 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.
The continuing high demand for Notre Dame football tickets is certain to lead to the unauthorized resale of tickets for profit and ticket fraud. The University remains committed to actively monitoring and enforcing its ticket resale policy in an effort to curb resale and fraud. Nearly 7,000 tickets have been suspended or revoked in the past six years. Suspected resale violation information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notre Dame recognizes that alumni, faculty/staff members and season-ticket holders may not be able to use all of the football tickets they have been assigned for a particular game, and may also have need for more tickets on other occasions. The University provides a ticket consignment service for those seeking to buy and sell tickets at face value within the Notre Dame family on the Web at http://alumni.nd.edu/tickets.html or by phone at 574-631-4434.