SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- After lake effect flurries spit on South Bend Thursday, Notre Dame knew it faced a big foe: snow removal. Notre Dame Director of Game Day Operations Mike Seamon said they never encountered an unprecedented amount of snowfall 48 hours before kickoff. The record-breaking 12 inches has kept campus crews busy, clearing parking lots and making sure fans—and players—have a place to enjoy the game.
“Notre Dame's Stadiums a tough place to do this because we have small tunnel,” said Seamon. “So you just do it truck load by truck load through the night.’
Seamon added another 500 people will be working inside the stadium overnight—shoveling aisles and hauling snow—to have the facility ready for Notre Dame’s sparring against Northwestern.
Fans heading to the game should bundle up, as temperatures hover around 30 degrees. Seamon advises game-goers to carry extra blankets and jackets inside. The stadium bag policy remains in effect for security reasons, he says.
“We still want people to be able to bring their blankets, their seat cushions, their warm jackets—just don’t bring it in a bag,” said Seamon. “If they carry it over their arms, in their hands, they’ll be allowed right in, and it’ll be easy.”
Some fans and former football players expected a different game day forecast. Former Irish offensive lineman Mike Golic, Jr. said it was 64 degrees when he left his Connecticut home the other day. A veteran of Michiana winters, Golic says he came prepared.
“I have the arsenal of layers ready to go for the game tomorrow,” said Golic. “Got my gloves, got my hat, got everything ready!”
Samantha Hensch, a 2003 Notre Dame alumna, came to South Bend, hoping to avoid the Minnesota tundra.
“We thought, ‘Maybe we could have a nice fall weekend, a little crisp, a little cool!’ But no snow!” said Hensch.
All parking lots will be open Saturday. However, snow mounds cover some of the grassy areas where people often park and tailgate. Seamon said fans should arrive earlier than usual to find a place to park.
Notre Dame (7-2) takes on Northwestern (3-6 ) Saturday. Kickoff for the game is 3:39 p.m.