March 30, 2002
Tyrone Willingham, head coach at Stanford the last seven seasons, on New Year’s Day was named the new football coach at the University of Notre Dame.
What does that mean for Fighting Irish football fortunes? Even the Notre Dame players won’t know for sure until April 6th when the Irish open spring football drills.
That means the Notre Dame Blue-Gold Spring Football Festival on April 27, presented for the second straight year by Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Inc., figures to provide Irish fans with a preview of things to come for the 2002 season. It’ll be the only opportunity to see Willingham’s squad in action prior to the August 31 Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) against Maryland. “Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Inc., is excited to again be the sponsor of this year’s Notre Dame Blue-Gold football game. We are pleased to help continue an important Irish and community tradition,” said Bill Killilea, vice president of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Inc.
Media partners for the Blue-Gold Festival are WDND South Bend’s ESPN Radio 1620, which will broadcast the game live on radio, and WHME-TV 46. Supporting sponsors are Chili’s and Papa Vino’s.
There are plenty of activities connected with the 73rd annual Blue-Gold game (1:30 p.m. EST kickoff), including several opportunities to be up close and personal with Willingham and his players:
- A special VIP ticket ($40 for adults, $25 for youths) entitles fans to a full day of activities with the Irish, including joining the squad for its pre-game meal. A player or coach will be seated at each table for the brunch to be held at 9:30 a.m. EST in the Joyce Center fieldhouse (north dome). Then, VIP fans can sit either in the gold chairback seats on the east side of the Stadium or they can roam the east sidelines at field level for a closer view of the action.
- There will be approximately 150 seats available ($50 each) in the Notre Dame Stadium press box where fans can have the same view as media covering Irish football. Fans seated in the press box receive a game program, as well as the same press box lunch fare served to media (hot dogs, soup, popcorn, soft drinks).
- A free-to-all interactive fan fest will take place all day in the Joyce Center South parking lot.
- Former Notre Dame football players again will take part in a flag football game at 11:30 a.m. EST in the stadium. All former Irish football players will be invited back for the weekend.
- The Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley will hold a silent auction of sports memorabilia on Saturday in the Joyce Center fieldhouse.
- All current Irish players and coaches again will be available for photos and autographs on the field following the Blue-Gold contest.
Tickets for the game itself are now on sale. In advance, tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for youths (18 and under) and $5 for groups of 20 or more. There are a limited number of gold seats on the west side at $12 each. Area Meijer stores are selling advance tickets for $6 (adults) and $5 (youths).
Tickets can be ordered by mail by writing Blue-Gold Tickets, Joyce Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Checks can be made payable to University of Notre Dame, or use VISA, MasterCard or American Express – and there is a $5 service charge per mail or phone order. Telephone orders will be accepted at 574-631-7356.
On gameday, tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for youths. Proceeds benefit the scholarship fund of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley.