Out of the nearly 50,000 fans expected to pack Aviva Stadium on Sept. 1, only 5,000 will be rooting for the Midshipmen, according to Independent.ie — Notre Dame sold 30,000 tickets, and IrishCentral.com reports ND fans scooped up the remainder through other channels. (UPDATE: Navy PR folks weigh in with official ticket tallies here — No. 5 on the list)
Both reports make it clear the game’s impact goes beyond ticket sales: $30 million in hospitality-industry revenue for Dublin, 15,000 more fans making the trip than expected, and enough hotel-room demand that travel agents are left searching for short-term apartment rentals. The game’s official travel partner says select packages are available, but don’t expect a game ticket to go with them; more than 5,000 fans are expected to make the trip despite lacking a ticket, according to Independent.ie.
Another good way to tell a game’s a big draw: A major newspaper writes a feature on the travel agents. Cheryl Hall writes in The Dallas Morning News that Irish tourism officials expect a $100 million total bump in revenue from the game and surrounding events.
Fans stuck stateside can catch the action at 9 a.m. Eastern (2 p.m. Dublin) on CBS. Plan the rest of your fall Saturdays here.