SOUTH BEND -- Saturday is game day, but students and fans won't be filling Notre Dame Stadium for the first game of the season against Navy.
Instead, most will be staying at home or in their dorms despite many bars and restaurants opening early to fill up with fans and students from Notre Dame, St. Mary's, and Holy Cross College.
"We're just excited to be able to offer a slightly different take on our typical game watches, since most of them are how students end their day, versus how they get their day started," said Legends of Notre Dame general manager Maureen Doyle.
But many students like Matt O'Brien, 19, said they will be crowded around the televisions in their section lounges and dorms watching the Fighting Irish take on Navy.
"I'll probably watch it in my dorm room just because it is on so early morning," O'Brien said. "I won't be waking up at 7 a.m. just to see it at a remote location."
The game being played in Dublin, Ireland, will be broadcast for students in the nightclub, where there will be free food and a full-size drop-down screen set up in front of the stage along with five TV screens throughout the room showing the game.
"We run a game watch event for every away football game throughout the
fall, and we're excited to kick off the season on a strong note,"
Between the Buns, 1803 South Bend Ave., is one of many places offering free breakfast to attendees.
"We're hoping for a packed house," said Between the Buns kitchen manager Keith Stewart.
This is the second time since 1996 that Notre Dame will play in Dublin. The game started at 7 a.m. the last time. Saturday's matchup will be broadcast at 9 a.m.
The early start didn't stop South Bend residents Ed and Julia Jordanichd. They are planning their own game watch party that they named the "Not-So-Irish Breakfast."
Black pudding and blood sausage are part of an Irish breakfast, Julia learned after visiting friends in Ireland.
She said those dishes would not be part of their breakfast party.
"Black pudding and blood sausage is terrible," Julia said. "So we decided to call it that and offer things like bagels and breakfast sandwiches."
They said their party is another way for them to be able to get back in touch with their family, friends and neighbors.
"We had a baby this summer so we haven't had a chance to get people together for a while," Ed said. "Just a good excuse to get friends and neighbors together, and who doesn't love breakfast?"
According to Ed, one of the best parts about an earlier game is that everything will be over by noon, which leaves the rest of the day to take care of other things.