If the Notre Dame football program was a touring rock band (and we didn't dislike the Irish so much), BC would consider raising one of those consecutive concert sellout banners in the rafters of Conte Forum to thank them.
The Irish have helped the Eagles sell out every game that they've played at Alumni Stadium, a streak of six home games that dates back to the first ever Holy War game played on campus in 1994. (The first true Eagles "home" game against Notre Dame was actually played in Foxboro in 1975, to a crowd of 61,501 -- which, though unconfirmed, also appears to be a sellout at the old Foxboro Stadium). The Irish and the Eagles will undoubtedly play in front of their seventh consecutive sold out Alumni Stadium crowd on Saturday night.
Since Alumni Stadium expanded to its present capacity in 1994 (44,500), Notre Dame is the opponent that has helped the Eagles sell out Alumni Stadium the most number of times. The Irish's streak of six straight Chestnut Hill sellouts is also unmatched. The Miami Hurricanes come in a distant second. The U is currently working on just a three-game Alumni Stadium sellout streak (2001, 2003, 2007) with their next game on the Heights not scheduled until 2012.
Here is a list of teams and the number of games they played before a sold out, Alumni Stadium crowd (1994-present):
|Notre Dame||6||1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2008|
|Virginia Tech||4||1994, 1996, 2000, 2006|
|Syracuse||4||1994, 1996, 2000, 2004|
|Miami||4||1995, 2001, 2003, 2007|
Yes, the Eagles were even able to sell out a home game against Temple -- albeit it was in 1994 when the Eagles were able to sell out their first 15 games in the newly renovated Alumni Stadium. That initial 15-game sellout streak from 1994-1996 also accounts for both Rutgers and Navy sellouts as well as the games against Michigan, Pitt and West Virginia.
As much as Eagles fans don't like to admit it, BC needs Notre Dame on the schedule to help with yearly ticket sales and home attendance. Other than Miami and maybe Syracuse, no other program has been able to consistently travel to Chestnut Hill and guarantee a sellout crowd.
The return of Notre Dame and Syracuse to the future Eagles' schedule is a start. But Miami now only comes to campus approximately once every 5-6 seasons with the unbalanced ACC schedule, which really isn't enough to move the attendance needle. Until BC starts to sell out more non-Irish, non-Miami ACC games -- like games against Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech -- you can forget any talk of renovating / expanding Alumni Stadium.