OT: Notre Dame-Wisconsin looking at future series at Soldier Field

Submitted by jimmyshi03 on July 24th, 2017 at 12:19 PM

According to the Trib.

No timeline given, but it's noted that Notre Dame has at least one B1G team on the schedule each year up through 2027 (only one year, 2018, with two scheduled), Purdue four times (2020-21, and 2024-25), State three times (2017, 2026-27), Michigan twice (2018-19), OSU twice (2022-23) Northwestern in 2018. So this may be well down the line. But, despite the resumption of the series next year, it doesn't appear likely that it will be a regular part of Michigan's schedule any time soon



July 24th, 2017 at 12:27 PM ^

Ask anyone what their favorite aspect of college sports is:  most will say the pageantry and atmosphere.  Neutral site games are probably the worst part about the college sport dollar chasing (besides not paying the athletes).  Make home-and-homes great again!


July 24th, 2017 at 12:37 PM ^

I'm okay with this one, Chicago is is in the region of both schools. I think games like the Cowboy Classic where you have two teams from no where near the area are stupid and obvious money grabs but when you have a location where it's an easy drive for both fanbases it can create a fun atmosphere, sort of like the Florida/Georgia game each year.


July 24th, 2017 at 1:08 PM ^

If I were a season-ticket holder at UW or ND, this would not make me happy. Fans have to pay ever-increasing prices and schools reward them by not even scheduling the marquee non-conference game at home.

(I'll spare you my thoughts on our own Jerryworld game....)

EDIT: Per NDNation, it sounds like the plan is to play a "home and home" at Lambeau and Soldier Field. If only these two schools had other venues available in which to play these games...


July 24th, 2017 at 1:36 PM ^

Yes, but season ticket holders are a small chunk of the fan base. Chicago is the main alumni hub for both of these schools and Soldier field actually makes going to a game easier for a large chunk of their fans. Like the poster above said, teams from Florida and Michigan playing in Dallas is stupid, but teams from Madison and South Bend playing in Chicago actually makes sense. Even many of the students would have an easy time going.


July 24th, 2017 at 1:49 PM ^

It makes it only slightly easier. Both schools are well under 3 hour drives from Chicago. If I was a fan of ND or Wisconsin living in Chicago I would strongly prefer a home and away.

I don't understand why ND would schedule Wisconsin in the first place as it is a tough game that doesn't broaden their national appeal. 


July 24th, 2017 at 3:07 PM ^

Season-ticket holders are the lifeblood of the program.  Home stadium revenue is hugely important.  It's not a great idea to alienate your most critical customers.  It's not too awesome for students (your future customers), either.

As noted above, this isn't about creating some Jacksonville-type annual neutral setting.  Soldier Field will be ND's "home" and Lambeau will be UW's "home".  



July 24th, 2017 at 12:50 PM ^

Both schools are within ~2 hours of Chicago (and they don't have a historic rivalry) so that makes it more of a natural fit.  

The Michigan v. Florida game in Dallas makes absolutely no sense to me.  However, it would be awesome if this were a home and home series.  I think that I read somewhere that Florida hasn't played an OOC game outside of Florida since the 90's.

i was thinking about it and there's really not a good regional, neutral site game for Michigan.  You could rule out all of the Ohio cities right away.  Indy might be a fine city.....but I don't think that it generates any interest.  Chicago and Green Bay might be OK due to the historic aspect of the stadiums but I can't think of another team within driving driving distance that would generate interest.  Chicago would have been OK if Nebraska wasn't already in the B1G.

The closest destination city/game that I can think of would be UGA vs Michigan in Nashville.....now that might generate some excitement!


July 24th, 2017 at 3:49 PM ^

I hate uga, but to pass on a home and home in AA and Athens would be a mistake since both are great college towns. It's a solid twelve hours between Detroit and Atlanta. And if you don't want to explore the towns, that's just enough time to make the drive after work on Friday and tailgate Saturday before passing out and driving back Sunday.

rob f

July 24th, 2017 at 9:06 PM ^

No. We play in The Big House; UGA plays between their shrubbery...er, I mean hedges.

Is there something wrong with a home-and-home between us and the dawgs that I'm not aware of?


July 24th, 2017 at 1:36 PM ^

MGoBlog has totally persuaded me that college hockey games played away from their fans makes no sense.

However, I agree with Fitz here. The Chicago papers treat Notre Dame as a home team, and though Northwestern claims to be Chicago's Big Ten team, Wisconsin comes close. (Illinois would join them if they got good again.) Plus, unlike Texas, it's close enough for their fans, many of whom are traveling anyway. As for revelry before and after, I've been out drinking in Madison, not in South Bend, but I assume Chicago has more to offer both places.

Go Blue Eyes

July 24th, 2017 at 12:34 PM ^

I agree.  I am going to the game in Dallas and have great seats that I paid a hefty premium to attend.  I hope that the powers at be in the AD never do this again.  I would almost rather watch some MAC team come in than have to fly 1000 miles away for a neutral site game.


July 24th, 2017 at 12:40 PM ^

I know I'm the minority here, but I'm super pumped for Dallas trip and seeing Jerry world. I wouldn't go to a NFL game there, so this gives me a chance to see Michigan and the stadium! I'll also by flying out of Orlando with tons of Gators, while I rep Michigan gear head to toe.


July 24th, 2017 at 12:50 PM ^

I spend lots of time in coastal South America. I have had days there of 100+ degrees and outrageous humidity. But that 2012 game vs. Alabama literally almost killed me. I am not 75, I was 40 at the time, and basically couldn't cut it standing out there tailgating all day. It was simply brutal. 


July 24th, 2017 at 2:03 PM ^

What about that glorified shopping mall with a football field in it makes you super pumped about it? I would rather to go a game at Ohio Stadium than Jerry world. Nothing about visiting a billionare's playground appeals to me in the slightest.

snarling wolverine

July 24th, 2017 at 12:35 PM ^

If our Jerrydome experiences are a guide, colleges don't actually make more money playing at neutral sites. So what exactly is the point? Is it really too hard for ND and UW to play a home and home?


July 24th, 2017 at 12:51 PM ^

This isn't true. Michigan is one of the few outliers here, but most programs make a ton more money from neutral sites.

Michigan is getting paid $6 million to play Florida plus an undisclosed amount from ticket sales. Since Harbaugh came home, it's estimated that a home game for Michigan is worth $10 million. Most home and homes, if done in consecutive years, the home team keeps everything. So basically you have $10 mil or $5 million per year between the two games. Doing a neutral site, Michigan gets at least $6 mil this year, and also gets their $10 mil next year by not forfeiting a home game.

Neutral sites need to die a fiery death. For big programs like ours and the rest of the blue bloods, I don't think it's worth pissing off the season ticket holders for a few extra bucks. However, this is big time cash for slightly smaller ADs. They aren't going anywhere.

Perkis-Size Me

July 24th, 2017 at 12:50 PM ^

Good. I'm okay with not playing ND for a while. We don't need them.

Put other teams on the schedule that we either never get to play, or hardly ever play. Having Washington, UCLA (especially if Chip Kelly finds his way there after next year), Texas, Oklahoma  and Virginia Tech all on future schedules is pretty damn exciting. Would love to see a continuation of scheduling those kinds of games, as long as they're not effing neutral site games. 

Who here would not have wanted to see us travel to The Swamp to see us play UF this year, and then have them come over the Mason Dixon Line to play in Ann Arbor in 2018? Instead we get one game in a sterile, corporate, and utterly lifeless NFL stadium. 

oriental andrew

July 24th, 2017 at 1:27 PM ^

I guess Soldier Field and Lambeau make sense as UW-ND home-and-homes kinda-sorta.

What would be neat is a Cocktail Party type series with ND against Illinois (if Illinois were any good, not that ND is - zing!) in Soldier Field, with the stadium half Orange and half golden puke-colored.