The Fighting Irish face one of the toughest schedules in college football this year, taking on three teams ranked in the AP Top Ten and a total of five in the Top 25. On the one hand, this means fans can expect some great matchups throughout the season; on the other hand, it also means ticket prices will be sky-high.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team opens its season this weekend against Navy at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The 51,700-seat rugby stadium is considerably smaller than the 80,000+ seat football cathedrals we're used to in the US. Fewer seats and high demand means high ticket prices. With an average price tag of $272 on VividSeats.com, it won't be cheap to see the Irish in Ireland. Add to that the cost of an international flight and lodging, and suddenly it doesn't sound so bad to wake up at 8 AM on a Saturday to watch Notre Dame play its opener live.
And now the bad news for fans hoping to catch a Notre Dame game live this year: The game in Ireland is only the third most expensive game on the schedule.
Only slightly more costly than the game in Ireland is Notre Dame's game against the expected Big-12 champs, Oklahoma, in Norman. The average ticket is listed at $286 on Vivid Seats' secondary market.
But the toughest ticket to get on the 2012 Notre Dame Football schedule is the September 22 night game against rival Michigan. Expect to cough up an average of $435 to see the Irish and Wolverines collide in the House that Rockne Built. The cheapest seats in the house start at $246.
But it's not all bad news for the average fan. There are a number of deals on the schedule as well—if you know where to look.
A couple of the best deals come in games against top opponents. If you don't mind traveling around the midwest, head to East Lansing for the cheapest game on the schedule. The average ticket price for the game against Michigan State is below $110. Now that's Pure Michigan.
The first home game of the season for the Irish is also your least expensive chance to see a game inside Notre Dame Stadium this year. Watch Purdue on September 8 in South Bend below face value with tickets starting at $63.
Your next two best bets to save money on ND games come at the final two home games of the year against Pitt and Wake Forest. It's no surprise that the combination of mediocre opponents and November in South Bend add up to tickets for less than $100 to get in the door.
For those on the West Coast, tickets for the final game of the season against USC at the Coliseum in LA are currently starting around $104. I would expect this number to steadily rise throughout the season—especially if the #1 Trojans are in line to head to the BCS National Championship Game.
Right in the middle of the price range is Notre Dame's "traveling home game" against Miami at Soldier Field in Chicago. Average ticket price is $225 right now, but tickets start as low as $120. That's not a bad price to see the Irish in their controversial alternative uniforms in person.
Despite disappointing results last year, offseason troubles and a quarterback controversy, interest in Notre Dame Football remains strong. Year after year, crowds flock to South Bend to see Touchdown Jesus, the Golden Dome, and Notre Dame football, driving ticket demand on the secondary market.
View the complete Notre Dame Football schedule and ticket prices for the 2012 season below.