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Jack Swarbrick: Won't Be At Full Capacity In 2020

The Fighting Irish director of athletics said that Notre Dame Stadium won't be at full capacity in 2020

Notre Dame is hosting "The Fight," which is a fundraising event designed to raise money to help those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

During Tuesday's event, Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick made a number of important comments. One being that Notre Dame Stadium would not be at full capacity in 2020.

"Yes. We're committed to having fans in the stands and we'll start with the other students. My view throughout has been, if we think it's safe for students to be on the field playing football, it should be safe for the students to be in the stands watching football.

"So, we'll build off that base of the other students, faculty and staff will be a priority for us to give them an opportunity, and then our fans.

"We haven't yet gotten to the question of how big that audience is. We won't be at capacity. We'll do something less than that. And we'll be very careful about maintaining social distance. How the facility works, how you enter it, how you exit it, all things to be determined. We're working hard on them."

This decision will impact the game experience for fans and players, which includes tailgating.

""What we're focused on right now is gathering all the best practices and ideas we can. Some of the NFL teams are a little further down the road, so we're looking at what they're doing, but all the things you mentioned are part of it. It won't be a normal tailgating environment.

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"We need to create distance in tailgating and make sure people are safe. I think you'll enter the stadium a little bit differently. I think what we'll ask you to do when you enter will be a little different. I think the concession opportunities will be different. I think in the stadium, we're going to work real hard to create some space among our fans."

Swarbrick remains non-committal about Notre Dame-Navy and whether or not it will be played in Ireland.

""It was such a great experience when we went last time and everybody enjoyed it so thoroughly, including our students. But it's really derivative of other things. It starts with what's the plan for the campus in the fall. It's really important that we don't address these athletic issues separate from the larger university issues of what's the plan, when we return to school, so that's the first piece of this." 

I have written and rewritten this feature many times with my opinion on this decision included, but the reality is this topic is still too much of a hot potato, and rational discussion about it seems impossible. So for the time being, I will continue to simply report the news and not comment on it.

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