Alum writes open letter to University of Notre Dame leadership after low game attendance

(Photo supplied/University of Notre Dame video capture)

A student-run online newspaper, The Observer, shared an open letter to University leadership after the low attendance rate at Saturday’s football game against Toledo.

The open letter, written by a 1987 graduate, Stephen O’Neil, expressed why the University’s recent decisions may be the cause.

O’Neil’s Letter to the Editor claims the University has become elitist, and that the high prices they charge for tickets and asking fans to pay for a streaming subscription for Saturday’s game, has excluded a large number of fans.

“it betrays a tone-deafness that you have increasingly shown towards those who have carried the university through thick and thin.”

His letter calls for president Father Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbrick to reconsider the University’s ticketing and streaming decisions, saying that a reconsideration would show their fanbase some respect.

You can read the full story published by The Observer and the complete open letter here.




  1. I would have to agree completely with the writer of this letter. The money grab going on at football games is borderline offensive. I was last there with my family in 2019 and during the week was having a Belle’s ale at Legends at a high price of six dollars a pint. When we went in on Saturday for lunch the price was hiked to nine dollars. When I asked the server if this was right since I was only paying six dollars during the week, she responded that the manager of Legends said he raises the prices on weekends because the Notre Dame alumni are rich and can afford it. Nobody likes being abused like this.

    • A fool and his money are soon parted. Depending on what type of “Belle’s” you are drinking, the average price for Bell’s Ale is $17 for 12 which works out to $1.42 each so you are already getting ripped off. And Legend’s (just like the hotels) know people are stupid enough to pay 200% to 300% over normal price because they are cocky and arrogant sheep who would rather scream from the stands at something they could normally watch for free on the TV. Oddly, Notre Dame has figured out how to rip people off in that regard too thanks to Peacock.

  2. I am not a sports fan . With that said it amazes me that people would spend that much money for tickets to watch a game or pay to watch someone sing . Greed is at fault. While I understand it takes a lot to go forward I also understand charge what traffic will bear is the norm . Quit going and watch prices drop . I no longer go to concerts because of hi ticket prices

    • You religious zealots make me sick. Every chance you get, abortion is brought up. One – your “god” gave doctors the knowledge to perform them. Two – your “god” had done fuckall to stop them from being performed. Three – your “god” has no problem killing people with natural disasters.

      • The University is a Christian based university founded on “our God’s” principals. So… yes…. They sold their soil.

        Abortion is murder. Forget religion, science says so.

  3. The bread and circuses are getting too expensive. Heaven forbid that people notice that those diversions aren’t worthwhile instead, and actually start paying attention to their place in the new order…

  4. Too many colleges have this “make as much money as you can” attitude. They should be more concerned with “friend raising” than fund raising. Spot on Mr. O’Neil…well said. I would love to read the school’s response.

    • I completely agree with you but our economic system incentivizes that type of behavior. We dont treat university as a community good worth our time so we ask business people to keep them running instead of publicly funding them. Not saying that gives ND to charge so much for tickets, education, and pay employees so little but it certainly gives them the incentive.

  5. Is it possible that ND football on a streaming service is being watched by many universities as a possible new source of income? Why let a network (NBC) make $$ from broadcasting our games, even though the pay big bucks to ND, when we can stream our games and keep all the $$. If ND and other colleges are successful with streaming you will see a gradual switch with college sports changing how their games will be viewed on your TV.

  6. It’s been pretty well established that football at all levels is and upper middle class sport.
    Consequently, they can keep raising prices and they’ll get them. They care very little about those who can’t afford tickets because they know the more well off are waiting in line to buy those tickets. One large Eastern did a similar thing a few years ago. You had to make a donation to get your tickets. Many couldn’t afford to donate and lost their tickets. They knew others were waiting line willing to pay. It all about maximizing profits. Coaches don’t come cheap.

  7. Well at least somebody said it. For about three years now with leadership changes things have really gone downhill for the community and the University. Let’s hope for. John wises up soon to make the changes

  8. I paid the money to watch the Toledo game on tv and guess what. I could never connect and gave up trying at half time. My son in Atlanta keep me abreast and the ND football app gave me a much-delayed report on the progress of the game. How thoughtless of ND to switch to that approach.

    Second, electronic tickets? I read that it caused a great deal of chaos as people tried to get into the stadium. Give us back the old paper tickets.

    Summed up, ND is not customer friendly.

    Ed Adams, Law ‘63


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