Proper away game experience @ND 9/1/2018

Submitted by Hitman on July 19th, 2018 at 1:22 PM

The football gods have smiled upon me and presented an opportunity for my first away game experience. It just so happens to be the ND game! I have never been to South Bend. I want to ask the board for advice how to "properly do an away game at ND". The MGoWife and I traveling up from Atlanta. What has worked for you in the past? What hasn't worked? Where was your favorite place to go before/after the game? There was a similar thread posted yesterday about traveling to/from Rutgers and how to navigate the terrain. Thanks in advance!



July 19th, 2018 at 1:27 PM ^

To prepare yourself for the South Bend experience, I would take a lawn chair to a corner in College Park and just chill for a whole afternoon, like 5 hours. Then, you'll be ready for South Bend.

Mike Damone

July 19th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

If you really want to have some fun, walk right through where the Domer students are tailgating with this T-Shirt on.

You will get kudos from both Michigan and Purdue fans - a twofer...


rob f

July 19th, 2018 at 1:40 PM ^

I've done the [email protected] Notre Dame game 3 times, so if you take me along I'll be glad to draw upon my past experience and knowledge and be the guide you and your MGoWife obviously need, both for the tailgating and for the game.

Most importantly, if you provide me with nothing more than a game ticket I won't even charge you a dime!


July 19th, 2018 at 1:49 PM ^

Bare Hands brewery in Granger, IN is excellent and I think they were supposed to be opening a tap room in South Bend but not sure if that's happening anymore.

That's all I got though.

Indiana Wolverine

July 19th, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

  Being a resident of the area I can assure you how much the restaurant/brewery scene isn't great.  I'm fully planning to tailgate and then watch the game from home to avoid the Irish stink.  Here are a few ideas.

 Mishawaka is close to campus (ten minutes with no traffc) and Evil Czech Brewery.  Pretty unique menu and they are known for their duck.  It's better than you'd think if you've never had it.  Really unique beer selection too.  There's a pretty wide variety of breweries and wineries in southwest Michigan if you have a little more time or the day before the game to avoid some of the crowds in Berrien Springs and Buchanan.


July 19th, 2018 at 1:59 PM ^

If I recall correctly, unless you are tight with an ND donor and can tailgate next to the stadium, there's a giant grass lot like 10 minutes away where everyone parks and tailgates and then a free shuttle that takes you to campus if you don't just walk (that to me is your best bet).  I went with some ND people in my group (they were my ticket source so I had to) and we also watched the team walk through campus to the game.  If you're into architecture and/or Catholic stuff, there's a bunch to see on campus which is right next to the stadium.  Bars seemed like a pain to get to since there are none on campus.

South bend otherwise seems like a hole but I did independently go there for work and went to the Crooked Ewe brewbup which was decent 

Bisquiteen Trisket

July 19th, 2018 at 2:05 PM ^

I have only been once with a friend that went to ND so he took care of most things but I felt like finding a hotel was a bit of a challenge.  Others can probably offer better advice than I can on the best place to look.  Bar-wise I liked the Linebacker Lounge it's a dirty college bar type place but I remember there was a nice patio and really cheap beers.  The campus itself is very nice and I found the opposing fans to be very friendly.  Hopefully you see a Michigan win unlike what  I saw in the game I went to (Denard threw five picks and we lost 13-6 *monkeycoveringeyes.emoji*).


July 19th, 2018 at 2:08 PM ^

South Bend sucks. Notre Dame Campus is very nice however. Eddy Street commons (which is newer to the south bend area) is located just across from the stadium, and has a few restaurants and shops. Other than that, South Bend as a whole is pretty drab. Downtown, there is a nice local pub called Fiddler's Hearth that I enjoy when i'm in town quite a bit. It's an actual irish pub with live music and has a great atmosphere. 

Have fun, but truth be told, South Bend is not really all that fun. I should know, I lived there for 27 years! Its a dump!

House Mother

July 19th, 2018 at 3:09 PM ^

Go to the gold domed admin bldg before the game to see/ hear the ND brass section of the marching band. You will stand on lower floors and they stand on higher floors and play pep band music and their fight song. Even though it is their band, it will get you revved up for the game. Then follow them out where they join the rest of the band for the march to the stadium. Then watch the maize and blue humiliate them within view of touchdown Jesus.


July 19th, 2018 at 3:10 PM ^

I live about 30 minutes away from South Bend, so I don't head there often for food or spirits, but when I do for some of the decent shopping they have and the University Park Mall - these are the places I find to be appropriate.  Some of these are in Granger, which is about 10 minutes drive from campus.  Downtown South Bend is a little bit farther away from campus.


  • Uptown Kitchen $$ - very good selection of breakfast drinks and very good breakfast menu as well.  Can do lunch here if you like as it closes at 3:00 PM.  Granger


  • Yesterday's $$ - good food menu and a cozy spot.  Good selection of bourbon/whiskey.  Granger
  • Rocky River Tap & Table $$ - farm to table place with a huge selection of craft beer on tap and very good selection of liquor.  Granger
  • LaSalle Grille $$$ - good steak place but fairly expensive for the area.  There's a dress code but otherwise the food here is really good.  South Bend
  • Tapastrie $$ - tapas place with good cheese plates, tapas, and cocktails.  South Bend
  • Fiddlers Hearth $$ - pub fare with pints and a great selection of scotches.  Cozy atmosphere and friendly bar.  South Bend
  • Corndance Tavern $$$ - pretty expensive for the area, but if you like a fancier meal this is a good place to go. Granger


  • Scotty's Brewhouse $$ - chain restaurant that started in Indy, serves good bar food, make their own selection of craft beer, large TV's everywhere. Granger
  • Evil Czech Brewery $$- I go here almost every time I'm in the area.  Craft beers are really really good.  Granger
  • Bare Hands Brewery $$ - another craft beer brewery I like to go to as well.  Very good beer and pretty good atmosphere.  Granger

The reason I listed a few Granger places is that will put you near where you need to park if you don't have passes for the reserved lots.  The public lots will funnel you to the toll road 80/90.  Traffic is directed here so cars tend to move a little faster than parking at someone's house/yard for cash.  The public parking is a good distance away from the stadium (20-25 minute walk for me) but it's grass and where you can tailgate outdoors.  It's north of the campus.  If you go south of the campus you'll find Eddy Street Commons.  It's a newer shopping area that has some bars and restaurants.  There's a big parking garage there where you can buy passes but you'll likely be stuck in traffic afterwards for an unpleasant amount of time.  It isn't always directed after games.  It is very close to the stadium, but it can be a pain to get out of at night. 

Good luck and Go Blue!


July 20th, 2018 at 1:34 PM ^

A pedantic correction in case someone unfamiliar gets confused, Scotty's, Evil Czech, and Corndance are in Mishawaka, not Granger.

Parking-wise, you do not want to be in Granger.  My office is in Mishawaka, just nearer to ND than the closest point of Granger, and I am 4.4 miles from ND stadium.  Quite the walk from Granger to the game.

Try parking at one of the many businesses along South Bend Ave/State Rd 23 that offer gameday parking, or in the neighborhood bordered by Twychkenham, S.B. Ave, Ironwood, and Douglas.  Many homeowners offer lawn parking in that neighborhood, and you have Martins Supermarket, Belmont Beverage, and ND stadium all within a short walk.  Parking in these areas will mean that you have to wait in some traffic to get out of Dodge.  White Field north of campus is a public lot, but further from the stadium and less fun of a tailgate location if you ask me.  Parking at White does get you out of traffic easier normally.

Mulligans Bar and Grille is certainly not fancy, but a cleaner experience than the Linebacker, and is just a hundred yards or so down the street.  Plus, the owner is an awesome dude that will welcome an opposing fan nearly as warmly as a Domer.


More than willing to answer any questions, OP.  Hope you have a great time and that the good guys manage a win!


July 19th, 2018 at 3:14 PM ^

I went in 2012 to the awful game with all of the turnovers. 


The good part: Campus is beautiful and worth walking around. 


The experience was weird though. The ND fans were almost too nice if you get what I mean and not in the genial Midwestern way you get at Nebraska and Minnesota. I couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. I don't know, just the vibe I got.  


July 19th, 2018 at 3:19 PM ^

Haven't read the whole thread, see a lot of snark, but as a UofM fan who DOESN'T hate ND (sacrilege, I know) I would say that ND overall is a great campus to experience a game.

Check out the band who play in a few different places before the game, their Honor Guard (though maybe a little stuffy) is pretty cool to see, the campus in general is nice (check out the grotto, bookstore etc)

Tailgating is a good experience at ND as well. Though their fans are a pompous, lets be honest, so are we.

Enjoy, I think ND is a good viewing experience. Blows MSU out of the water in my opinion.


July 19th, 2018 at 3:34 PM ^

Been to a couple ND-Michigan games there.  I actually really enjoy the South Bend gameday atmosphere compared to a lot of other away atmostphere.  You won't get batteries thrown at you (Columbus) or harassed by loser middle aged men (EL).  You will get an whiff of ND snobbery (much like others probably do in Ann Arbor) but for the most part, the ND fans are pretty pleasant.

If you don't have friends there with a tailgate set up, you can walk through a big grassy tailgate area (forget exactly where) and high five M tailgaters or cozy up.

Stadium experience is by far the most similar to Michigan stadium in the country.  Wine and cheese crowd of lawyers and grey hairs there to sit and enjoy the game on their butts, so it's very pleasant for visitors.

Bar/restaurant scene is terrible as others mentioned but the Linebacker is a bit of an institution there and REALLY fun after the game if M wins.  I witnessed the Denardening there in 2010 and had a blast afterwards.  The ND crowd isn't going to try to fight you after a game if you're celebrating a win (respectfully).

The Maizer

July 19th, 2018 at 4:51 PM ^

All I can say is be careful about tailgating at the golf course if you want to leave at a reasonable time. Went there for a night game, walked back to the car at the golf course immediately after the clock hit zeros and I waited in line to leave the course for legitimately 2 hours. The traffic cop stopping cars to let people out of the golf course left after like 30 minutes and then no one could get out after that. It was the worst.


July 19th, 2018 at 5:20 PM ^

I had this exact same experience in 2012 for the night game there.  Parked on golf course, kind of in the back and it took over two hours to get back to our hotel a couple of miles away.  Could not leave the car overnight so we had to wait it out.  It was the worst after a loss.


July 19th, 2018 at 5:25 PM ^

Stay in Chicago and enjoy that city's bars and restaurants. South Bend is awful. Drive in the morning of the game, tailgate, leave right afterward. 

JWG Wolverine

July 19th, 2018 at 5:31 PM ^

The only advice I have is to tailgate on their golf course, and then laugh at the person who comes over to tell you to stop tailgating before the game starts. 

Then go in, watch UM beat their asses in the Michigan section, and chant "It's Great To Be A Michigan Wolverine" as loudly as you can all the way out of the stadium and home.


July 19th, 2018 at 5:38 PM ^

I've been to three Michigan games there, 2004, 2012, and 2014. I'm also flying in from the west coast for this year's game, hopefully finally a win.

All three times I was with ND buddies so I didn't really have to fend for myself. I would not even worry about going to any bars before the game in South Bend or Mishawaka. Park your car, grab a 12 pack and walk around. Check out the campus a bit, then just walk the tailgates. People are pretty friendly really. Find a tailgate with solid food then chat up someone there and they'll eventually offer you food. You can do this all day long. I've been to dozens and dozens of non-Michigan home game tailgates and for the most part people like to host and play nice.

Unless you already have specific plans and depending on where you plan to go Sunday you should just find a hotel 30-60 minutes outside of town. If you're heading back to the ATL then find something towards Indy. I just drive back to my parents' house over the Michigan border after the games.


July 19th, 2018 at 5:44 PM ^

The tailgating in the lots is fun and people are very friendly.

It was great taking over their parking lots after Denard went bat shit crazy in 2010.


July 19th, 2018 at 6:20 PM ^

South Bend sucks nads.  Lived in the area for 5 years (Granger/Mishawaka).

Granger is northeast of SB and has decent food/drinks.

if I were to ever go to another ND game, I’d park/chill/eat in Granger and Uber to the stadium ~2 hours before kickoff.  The campus is nice