Business

Wake Forest football team to play Notre Dame in 2020 in Charlotte

Wake Forest University will play the University of Notre Dame in 2020 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. In this 2011 photo, Wake Forest’s Brandon Pendergrass, left, runs in for a touchdown past Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith.
Wake Forest University will play the University of Notre Dame in 2020 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. In this 2011 photo, Wake Forest’s Brandon Pendergrass, left, runs in for a touchdown past Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith. AP

Wake Forest University will play the University of Notre Dame Sept. 26, 2020 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, Wake Forest and the Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Wednesday.

Wake Forest has played in Charlotte once before, in the Belk Bowl in 2007 against the University of Connecticut. This will be Notre Dame’s first time playing here.

“For us to play a marquee brand such as Notre Dame in a large metropolitan area, in an NFL stadium in an urban area that is close to our campus, that’s win-win-win-win for us,” said Ron Wellman, Wake Forest’s athletic director.

As the home team, Wake Forest gets to control everything along with the Sports Foundation in terms of how the game will be promoted and produced, Wellman said. Wake Forest sponsors, including its largest, BB&T, will be “very visible” in the stadium that day.

Wake Forest and Notre Dame have been scheduled to play each other for many years in the future as part of the ACC’s agreement with Notre Dame, Wellman said.

According to the ACC deal, every Notre Dame sports team except football is required to be full-time members of the conference, while the football team plays five games a year against ACC opponents.

Will Webb, executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, said the 2007 Wake Forest bowl game drew in nearly 30,0000 fans. The 2020 Notre Dame game is expected to attract up to 40,000 to Bank of America Stadium, which has a capacity of over 75,000.

“It helps (Wake Forest) to be playing a major game on national television. It helps from a recruiting standpoint, a fan standpoint,” Webb said.

Tickets to the 2020 game go on sale about a year before the game, Wellman said. They will not be part of either teams’ season ticket package.

Wake Forest and Notre Dame have met three times in football, with the Fighting Irish winning all three contests.

In September, the ACC pulled its title football game from Charlotte over opposition to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which limits legal protections for LGBT individuals.

After the ACC’s decision, Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal condemning the ACC and NCAA for moving games out of North Carolina without consulting with member institutions first. Wellman said HB2 was a “complete non-factor” in scheduling the Notre Dame game here.

“We try not to politicize the athletic contests that we play. You get on that slope and it gets real slippery. We play who we want to play, where we want to play them and when we want to play them,” Wellman said.

Bank of America Stadium, the home of the Carolina Panthers, has become a regular venue for college football games in recent years. It has hosted regular season games with teams such as North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, and it is home to the annual Belk Bowl.

Here are the other upcoming college football games scheduled to be played at Bank of America Stadium:

2017: North Carolina State University vs. University of South Carolina

2018: University of Tennessee vs. West Virginia University

2019: University of North Carolina vs. University of South Carolina

2023: University of North Carolina vs. University of South Carolina

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

  Comments