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Emerald Isle Classic Facts

The wait is nearly over for college football fans, and all the planning and work that went into Notre Dame’s 2012 season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland, is just a week away from coming to fruition. Here are a few interesting nuggets about Saturday’s game.

Bratwursts for breakfast
Saturday’s kickoff time is 9 a.m. ET on CBS, which means folks in the Pacific Time Zone might want to just start the pregame festivities on Friday night. If you’re traveling to Dublin, the game will start at 2 p.m. local time.

Recruit watch
Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame takes on Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton on Friday evening at Parnell Park in North Dublin — one of several prep games that are part of the Global Ireland Football Tournament. Four-star running back Khalfani Muhammad plays for Sherman Oaks and four-star cornerback Cole Luke plays for Chandler. Both are class of 2013 prospects Notre Dame has offered. Blue & Gold Illustrated hopes to catch up with both recruits in Dublin.

Aviva Stadium facts
The official capacity at Aviva Stadium is 50,000, but for the Notre Dame-Navy contest only 48,000 seats will be used. The first six rows will be covered due to less-than-ideal sight lines. There were 25,000 tickets sold through the Navy and Notre Dame athletic offices. As the visiting team, Notre Dame received 7,500 tickets, which were offered to contributing alumni through a lottery system. There were 14,700 requests made through Notre Dame. Ticketmaster Ireland sold 13,000 tickets for the event.

Aviva Stadium is home to Ireland’s national rugby and soccer programs and was built in 2010. It was constructed on the previous site of famed Lansdowne Road Stadium, which was previously the oldest sports stadium in Europe and was built in 1876.

Logistics
More than 100 passport applications were processed for the Notre Dame football team in preparation for the trip. The biggest challenge, according to the University, was tracking down birth certificates for all applicants. The Fighting Irish will have to buy oxygen tanks for use on the sidelines because they can’t be transported on an airplane. Unlike other long-distance road trips in the United States, when Notre Dame uses a tractor-trailer for some items, all equipment will be flown into Ireland. In total, Notre Dame is transporting around 20,000 pounds worth of gear.

Broadcast battle
Though CBS will air the game in America, ESPN will broadcast the contest to 66 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The American Forces Network will also carry the CBS feed to 175 countries and U.S. Territories.

Second time around
According to the University, sophomore offensive lineman Conor Hanratty is the only current member of the Fighting Irish program to have attended the last meeting between Notre Dame and Navy in Ireland. Hanratty, who was 3 years old back in 1996, went to the game with his father, former Irish All-America quarterback Terry Hanratty.

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