We’re just a couple of weeks away from the 2017 home football opener as the Irish get set to take on Temple on September 2. There is a lot of excitement surrounding this season as the University gets set to unveil the completed Campus Crossroads, a multi-year construction project in which more than $400 million has been invested in Stadium enhancements and the construction of O’Neill Hall, the Corbett Family Hall, and the Duncan Student Center. Contractors have been working diligently for years to meet a construction deadline this month.
Students, faculty and staff, alumni, and fans will have seven opportunities this season to experience one of the best gameday happenings in all of college football right here in South Bend.
A disappointing 2016 season has fans ready to put the past behind and focus on the new season. Those fans will flock to our community from all over the world, many participating in an annual tradition, others crossing off one of those “bucket list” items. Others will seek to reconnect with their alma mater or longtime University friends. Regardless of why they come, our community stands ready to receive and welcome our guests and to provide them with an experience they can’t find anywhere else on a Saturday afternoon.
Many of our business partners have been gearing up for this for some time. Football season provides an important economic boost. The economic impact of a home football weekend is $15.1 million with $13.6 million being from visitors outside of St. Joseph County. In a typical season, we have six home games; this season seven.
Our hotel partners are most excited. We have some 52 properties with 4,331 rooms, and they all hope to be full throughout the season. We are anticipating two more hotel properties opening during football season, adding another 272 rooms to the mix. Our restaurant partners are equally excited and are anticipating some busy weekends ahead!
If you’ll be entertaining guests during the season, contact our team at Visit South Bend Mishawaka for recommendations on gameday and throughout the weekend. Go to visitsouthbend.com for all the latest. I look forward to seeing you out on campus this fall!
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber