Notre Dame 2023 football season record-breaking for economic impact

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It’s hard to believe this weekend marks the final Notre Dame home game weekend.

Reflecting on the 2023 season for the Irish football team, it was a record-setter for local economic impact.

“Bucket list, 50 years old, first time we’re ever here,” say fans who came in from Buffalo, New York.

Fans like them are what make Notre Dame the place to be on home game weekends.

“The idea that it’s bucket list experience to come to Notre Dame,” says Jeff Jarnecke, Executive Director of Visit South Bend Mishawaka.

That bucket list attraction caused fans to set new records this football season for attendance and economic impact, roughly $17 million of impact a game.

“It was an incredible year overall, these home football game weekends mean so much to the local economy,” Jarnecke says.

The real record breaker was the showdown against Ohio State.

Over 80,000 fans watched from the stands and thousands more made the drive into Fighting Irish territory just to be part of the rivalrous atmosphere.

“We welcomed more than probably 20,000 people to the community that weren’t even going to the game,” explains Jarnecke. “They just came to the bars, to the restaurants, to the attractions, to the shopping centers.”

“It’s amazing here, it’s awesome,” say the visiting fans from Buffalo. “Great food, great drinks.”

Between the shopping on Eddy Street for Irish merch, tailgating, and the historic campus, it leaves outside fans wanting more.

“Hopefully they have such a good time they come back a second time, a third time,” says Jarnecke.

“Go Irish! Can’t wait to come back,” say the fans.

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