May 8, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In the second to be announced of a series of "off-site" Fighting Irish football games, Notre Dame and Arizona State will square off on Oct. 5, 2013, at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Notre Dame football will begin the series of off-site games in 2009 (versus Washington State in San Antonio) and play one game per season at locations in Texas, Florida, and in other cities.
The Irish and Sun Devils will be meeting for the first time since 1999. Notre Dame defeated Arizona State in Sun Devil Stadium in '98 (28-9) and again in Notre Dame Stadium in '99 (a 48-17 Irish victory).
The game will be played at the Cowboys' new facility that is currently under construction and will open in the summer of 2009. With a capacity of 80,000 fans, it will be home to Super Bowl XLV following the 2011 NFL season, as well as the annual AT&T Cotton Bowl.
Notre Dame will come to the Dallas area for the first time since the end of the 1993 season when the Irish defeated Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl to complete an 11-1 season. Notre Dame's most recent trips to the state of Texas produced a 27-24 win over Texas in 1996 in Austin - followed by a 24-3 loss to Texas A&M in College Station in 2003.
Notre Dame expects to make tickets available to its contributing alumni and fans through the alumni lottery as it does with all other football games. Arizona State will receive an allotment of tickets as the visiting team, and a public sale will be conducted through the Cowboys' stadium. The Cowboys and the AT&T Cotton Bowl will combine to manage and market the game.
NBC Sports will have the live television rights to the game, as with other Notre Dame home games.
"We're thrilled to have a chance to return to North Texas where Notre Dame football has had such a rich tradition, particularly through our appearances in the Cotton Bowl over the years," said Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White.
"We're also excited that both our players and our fans will have a chance to experience a football game in what will be a state-of-the-art facility as designed by the Cowboys."
The Irish have played in the Cotton Bowl on seven occasions - following the 1969, 1970, 1977, 1978, 1987, 1992 and 1993 seasons. A victory in the original Cotton Bowl facility in 1977 earned a national championship for Notre Dame after the Irish defeated top-ranked and unbeaten Texas. Notre Dame also faced unbeaten and top-ranked Texas teams in Cotton Bowls following both the '69 and '70 seasons (winning in the second of those games to end a 30-game Texas win streak). The Irish are 5-2 in Cotton Bowl appearances, also winning 35-34 over Houston to close out the 1978 season in Joe Montana's final collegiate appearance.
Notre Dame also has played in Dallas against SMU in 1949 (a 27-20 win for the top-rated Irish), 1954 (a 26-14 Notre Dame victory), 1956 (a 19-13 SMU win), 1957 (a 54-21 Notre Dame win) and 1958 (a 14-6 Irish triumph) - giving the Irish a 9-3 overall mark in Dallas. Other Notre Dame appearances in Texas came in Houston for games against Rice in 1915 (a 55-2 Notre Dame win) and 1973 (a 28-0 Irish victory).
The off-site home game concept, as originated by White, came about once the NCAA opted for a 12-game regular season.
"We already had plans to play seven home games per year in Notre Dame Stadium," said White. "We determined we could make more effective use of that extra game by moving it around the country and playing not only in some areas very important to us in terms of recruiting but also in some locales in which our fans and alumni might not otherwise see us.
"We've approached these games almost as mini-bowl games. We expect our marching band to travel to these contests, and we believe these events will provide great opportunities for our constituencies to see our team play when they may be otherwise challenged to travel or obtain tickets for games in South Bend."