Feb. 4, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame baseball program is just two weeks away from welcoming current Irish head football coach Brian Kelly and 18-year MLB veteran Ron Reed ('65) to campus for the ninth annual Opening Night Dinner, to be held in the newly renovated Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday, Feb. 16 (7:00 p.m.).
"This is a tremendous opportunity for our fan base to support our baseball program and kickoff the 2010 season," said senior assistant athletics director Josh Berlo. "The event also gives our loyal followers not only the chance to get to know Coach Kelly better, but also show their appreciation toward Ron Reed - an all-time Notre Dame great."
Fans still have time to purchase tickets to ensure their spot at the special night, which provides attendees the opportunity to visit with members of the Notre Dame baseball team.
Plenty of planning has gone into the event. Fifth-year promotions coordinator Nicole Brochu has been involved in the central planning stages.
"The night is simply an inexpensive and fun night full of entertainment," said Brochu. "Everyone in attendance not only gets season tickets for baseball, but also softball. Admission to the dinner allows you to attend games over the entire season. It is also such a positive display of support for Irish baseball."
One logistical improvement for the 2010 event was shifting the entire event from the Joyce Center Fieldhouse to Purcell Pavilion.
"It most definitely makes the evening much more intimate," said Brochu. "You really have the opportunity to get to know and interactive with all the coaches and players. Plus, it is a great opportunity to show off the new arena."
The price for floor seating will be $60 ($40 for students, youth and seniors) and includes a Notre Dame baseball 2010 season ticket (a $50 value, covering 25 regular-season games), autographed 8x10 photographs of each speaker and several other advance promotional items. The table will also include an Irish player. A special "fan pack" price of $140 also is available, providing admission and the other dinner benefits for two adults and two youth. The price for general admission (in the stands) will be $45 ($25 for students, youth and seniors) and includes all the same benefits of the floor ticket. One can also purchase a general admission "fan pack" for $100.
Tickets remain on sale through the Notre Dame Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day by clicking here. They can also be purchased weekdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (ET) by phone at (574) 631-7356 or in person at the new Gate 9 Ticket Office in Purcell Pavilion. Service charges apply.
Those who have consulted in the planning of the event include individuals from facilities, catering, security, promotions, sports information, ticketing, sound and video technicians - and more.
"These people have a great love for Notre Dame baseball and it shows in the hard work they've put into this event," says Brochu. "It has allowed me to focus on other aspects of the planning while also having more time to speak with individual groups about their table needs."
The "ballpark-style" dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. The night's festivities include the opportunity to win a variety of baseball and sports-related door prizes and introduction of the Notre Dame team members. The players will be seated at tables with attendees on the floor and will be available for autographs prior to the dinner from 6:00-6:45 in Heritage Hall. The ballpark atmosphere also will include big-screen video highlights and game tapes from previous Notre Dame seasons, plus a musical selection of traditional and contemporary baseball songs.
As of Wednesday morning, Feb. 3, the list of attendees already had eclipsed 500 - with late sales expected to continue through the next two weeks. Those still interested in purchasing tickets are encouraged to do so by Feb. 12.