While the team has gone up and down over the last 46 years, one thing has remained a constant with Notre Dame football: Their crowd.
For the first time in almost 50 years, Notre Dame will not play in front of a sold-out crowd, ending a 273-game streak that began on Thanksgiving Day in 1973, when the Fighting Irish defeated Air Force.
The streak dates to the final game of the 1973 national championship season when Notre Dame beat Air Force on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, when the game was moved from Saturday to accommodate an ABC telecast.More news: Trump 'intimidating' to ex-envoy as new call details revealed
Swarbrick noted that because of the change from playing one November home game to three, Notre Dame's athletics department knew over a year ago this week might be when the streak ends.
That means this year will mark just the second and third time Notre Dame has failed to fill the stadium for a home football game since the mid-1960s. "That this comes during a time of sustained success for our football program reflects both challenges impacting the ticket market nationwide and the unique dynamics of this year's schedule", Swarbrick said. Selling out November games has always been tough, for the school, he said. Now 77,622 is the capacity.
The Fighting Irish are now 7-2 and have won 16 straight games at home.More news: Houston Astros sign-stealing case unlikely to hurt bottom line
"We will continue the tradition of making Notre Dame Stadium a destination for generations of Fighting Irish students, alumni and fans while providing the best possible atmosphere for our student-athletes", added Swarbrick, Notre Dame's AD since 1978. Only Clemson (21), Central Florida (20) and Ohio State (19) have won more consecutive games at home than the Fighting Irish, who began a 16-game streak after a narrow loss to Georgia in September 2017. "That you can say it's also sold out is sort of a byproduct of that", Swarbrick explained.
Hopefully Notre Dame fans can come together and keep their record intact.More news: Manus Is refugee not seeking NZ asylum - for now