“Here come the Iiiiiirish, of Noooootre Dameee” thunders the music in the stadium.
The adrenaline that one gets from Notre Dame home football games is unreal. Locals describe the atmosphere as, “electric.” However, many Notre Dame fans are hurting this season amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 has prevented fans from tailgating, admission into the game, concessions, spirit wear sales, and many other gameday activities and money pits. This has caused the South Bend economy to suffer. Local restaurants, hotels, bars, and other establishments are struggling to bring in revenue due to the prohibition of fans in the stadium. On a normal gameday weekend, the South Bend community is buzzing. People are up early, grilling out, sharing food and drinks, laughing, playing cornhole, and getting ready for kickoff. There is so much money that goes into tailgating alone. Eliminate every game day activity that brings someone within six feet of another person, there is not much left to do. However, fans are making the most of the 2020 college football season.
The University of Notre Dame is requiring every student to wear a mask at all times on campus, and social distance when gathering with others. This is to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Although tailgating is not allowed this year, students were given the chance to purchase season tickets for the home football games. The stands consist of students, faculty, and parents of the players. This is to eliminate an abundant spread of the virus. However, at the start of the semester, Notre Dame had a major outbreak in Covid cases within the student body that led to a two week quarantine period. This forced classes to be instructed online, and students to stay in their dorms in isolation. Since the quarantine, the University has been doing better with keeping the spread under control.
The football team recently had an outbreak with eighteen of its players testing positive in one day. When asked about the outbreak, head coach Brian Kelly, blamed it on the pregame meal and one player throwing up on the sideline during the game, who was treated for dehydration. During these uncertain times, the University has to be extra cautious when making decisions regarding health and safety of players and coaches. The safety of the students and players is the University’s top priority during the Pandemic. They are doing everything in their power to continue the semester and season as normal while also making sure everyone is safe and healthy.