“The Notre Dame campus is beautiful and green and quiet — until game day, when 'subway alumni' stream into town from Chicago and beyond,” writes USA Today.
Fans say the experience is about much more than touchdowns.
“We just like to soak up the whole day. We start early in the morning and there’s so much going on, and cap it off with the game and usually mass in the basilica afterwards,” said John Cavese, who was taking photos of the quad with his wife, Debbie, Friday evening.
John Segura and his son Nicholas just arrived from Las Vegas. They say its the family atmosphere that sets this place apart.
“I think there’s more partying other places. Here you can bring your son, you can play catch on the campus, everybody is very friendly,” said Segura.
For Dakota Santana, who was selling programs nearby, the appeal is more cosmetic.
“I like the new jerseys,” he said.
Most of fans would still come whether or not a national poll listed South Bend among the top college footballs towns. Perhaps that's what sets them apart from the crowd.
“I think if there were one word to sum it up its ‘tradition,’” said Cavese.