Jan. 29, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame will face defending Atlantic Coast Conference football champion Maryland in the Kickoff Classic XX at 8:00 p.m. EDT (7:00 p.m. EST in South Bend) on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. ABC Sports will televise the game on a national basis.
This marks Notre Dame’s second appearance in the Kickoff Classic. The defending national champion Irish defeated Virginia 36-13 in that event to start the 1989 season.
This marks the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame and Maryland on the football field – and it also marks the debut of new Notre Dame head coach Tyrone Willingham.
This will be Notre Dame’s first appearance at Giants Stadium since a 1995 victory there over Army – and its 10th overall at the East Rutherford, N.J., facility that also is home to the NFL New York Giants and Jets (capacity 80,242). The Irish have never lost at the Meadowlands, thanks to five wins over Navy (1980, 1982, 1984, 1990 and 1992), three over Army (1977, 1983 and 1995) and one over Virginia (1989).
Notre Dame’s allotment of tickets for this game will be made available to contributing alumni through the normal lottery process. There will be no availability to the general public through the University unless tickets remain following the lottery (deadline for contributing alumni applications is May 16).
Tickets for Kickoff Classic XX are $48 and $32 and go on sale to the general public at 10:00 a.m. EDT, Monday, April 29, 2002. Tickets will be available at the Continental Airlines Arena Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. To charge by phone, call (201) 507-8900 or (212) 307-7171 or go to www.meadowlands.com. Group sales (25 or more) are available by calling 201-460-4370.
Kickoff Classic XX will be the final Kickoff Classic due to NCAA legislation that eliminates preseason exempted games.
Two teams that played in the Kickoff Classic have gone on to win the national championship — Florida State in 1993 and Nebraska in 1994. In addition, five defending national champions have appeared in the Classic — Penn State (1983), Miami (1984), Brigham Young (1985), Notre Dame (1989) and Georgia Tech (1991).
The Kickoff Classic is managed by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority under the auspices of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Beneficiaries of the game are the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, the American Football Coaches Association, NACDA, and the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.
In the 19-year history of the game, the NFF and College Hall of Fame have received over $7 million in Kickoff Classic proceeds, much of which has been distributed in post-graduate scholarships to deserving scholar-athletes.