Irish to visit Fenway, Alamodome
The Irish, who released their football schedules for 2014 through 2016 on Friday, will be visiting one of America's classic ballparks as part of the team's Shamrock Series, which will also take Notre Dame to Indianapolis (2014) and San Antonio (2016).
Notre Dame's night game at the home of the Boston Red Sox on Nov. 21, 2015, is the most noteworthy of the 36 games announced by the school Friday. It will be the first football game at Fenway Park since Dec. 1, 1968, when the NFL's Boston Patriots played their last game there after five seasons. Boston College played its home games there from 1914 to 1956.
"The City of Boston will be ready to welcome Fighting Irish and Eagles fans alike when Fenway brings this historic rivalry to one of our most beloved landmarks in 2015," mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "I'm looking forward to a memorable weekend that puts Boston, and all the great things our city has to offer, in the national spotlight."
Notre Dame will return to Boston in 2017 to play BC at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame already has measured the field at Fenway to make sure there wouldn't be a recurrence of what happened when Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley Field in 2010 and they had to change the rules so that the offenses would run only toward the west end zone because the east end zone came within a foot of a padded brick wall.
"We spent a lot of time mapping it, staking it," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Friday. "The Yankees will tell you when we went there the first time, we drove them crazy. We had to outline the entire field. We had to walk in and see it."
Notre Dame wouldn't have scheduled the game if officials thought there was any risk to players, Swarbrick said.
The Irish's other Shamrock Series games -- the title given to their annual off-site home games in metropolitan areas -- will be against Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis next season, Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in 2014 and 2016, Navy at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., next season and Army at the Alamodome in San Antonio in 2016.
Notre Dame's final scheduled game against Michigan will be a night kickoff on Sept. 6, 2014.
Michigan and Notre Dame are two of the three winningest teams in college football history. They first met in 1887, with the Wolverines having since been credited for helping teach the game to the Irish. Michigan leads the series, 24-16-1.
As it stands, the Irish won't play a Big Ten opponent in 2015, the first time that's happened in more than 100 years. But Swarbrick said he took the backlash as a compliment.
"I can't think of a higher form of flattery for Notre Dame football, that people got so upset at the prospect of losing games with us," he said.
The Irish open the 2015 season at home against Texas and open at the Longhorns in 2016.
Swarbrick said a priority moving forward is trying to add a Southeastern Conference opponent to the schedule. He said that's difficult, however, because Notre Dame only has one open spot in its schedule for a road game and that is filled through the 2020 season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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