Travel tips ahead of the first Notre Dame home game

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame fans are getting ready for the first home game of the season. While many of them are already here, a lot more of them are expected to come in from out of town.

These are the weekends that push the South Bend International Airport to the limit, so they shared some tips for folks flying in and out of town during the busy upcoming days.

They say the biggest hurdle for travelers will be longer wait times at security checkpoints.

To make sure everything goes smoothly, the airport suggests getting there two hours before your plane is scheduled to leave, even if it normally doesn’t take you that long to get to your gate.

They also say to start off your packing with an empty bag so you don’t accidentally leave a prohibited item in your luggage.

If you are a traveler that needs special accommodations, all you need to do is call ahead and they’ll make sure to help you get through the terminal.

“We also have a feature called TSA cares. If you have a disability or special needs, or maybe anxiety going through the checkpoint, you can call us ahead of time and we’ll be prepared for you. We have someone who will especially help you get through that experience. So, a lot of tools. If you have any concerns, go to our website,” said TSA Regional Spokesperson Jessica Mayle.

If you’re flying into South Bend, you’re likely not going to be alone, so it’s important to keep an eye on your stuff and get any arrangements lined up before getting here.

The first thing to remember once you get off the plane is to make sure you pick up the correct bag at baggage claim if you checked one.

Try and add a tag or strap you can easily identify so you don’t grab the wrong one, or so you can spot your bag if someone else takes it by mistake.

Then make sure you have a ride from the airport. Taxis, Lyfts, and Ubers are all authorized to pick up and drop off at the airport. If you’re planning on renting a car, you should definitely get that sorted out before leaving for South Bend.

For any Irish fans who accidentally left their gear at home, the airport has you covered for that too.

“We do have some Notre Dame gear for sale here at the gift shop and campus is also a great place to collect your gear as well,” said SBIA Marketing Vice President Julie Curtis.

Just like those headed to the airport, the key to a great gameday will be to arrive early.

One-way traffic into the stadium will start around 3 hours ahead of kickoff, and this is made a lot easier with Douglas Road now being reopened.

Anyone who normally takes Ironwood to Douglas will need to take State Road 23 to Douglas instead because there’s still work to be done on Ironwood.

Folks will be familiar with the end-of-game traffic patterns when Douglas Road becomes a one-way going east, but instead of ending the one-way at Ironwood, it will go to State Road 23.

If you want to get in on the action early, there will be a Friday Night Bash at the stadium tomorrow night that will feature live entertainment, food, drinks, and some good ol’ Irish spirit.