Alabama has finalized its home-and-home football series with Notre Dame in 2028 and 2029 and announced a 2020 home game against Utah State. Notre Dame will host the 2028 game on Sept. 2, while Alabama hosts on Sept. 1 in 2029.
Here are some details from both contracts, obtained by The Tuscaloosa News through an open records request:
- Notre Dame will pay Alabama $1 million when the Crimson Tide travels to South Bend, Ind., in 2028. Alabama will pay Notre Dame $1 million for the return trip in 2029.
- Alabama will pay Utah State $1,910,000 for the 2022 game in Tuscaloosa. That’s believed to be the fourth-largest amount ever paid to a visiting football team for a college football game. According to FBSchedules.com, the largest on record is Nebraska paying Southern Miss $2,125,000 to switch the game from Hattiesburg to Lincoln that year. The second largest was Florida paying Colorado State $2 million as part of Jim McElwain’s buyout when he left the Rams for Gainesville. The third-largest is Auburn paying $1.937 for a home game against Tulane in 2019, according to a published report.
- That $1.9 million figure isn’t outlandish, though. Auburn is paying UMass $1.9 million for a 2020 game in Auburn. Georgia is paying Kent State $1.9 million for a 2022 trip to Athens. Alabama is paying Kent State $1.75 million for a 2020 game in Tuscaloosa.
- Either Alabama or Notre Dame can cancel without penalty if its conference obligations require it to play more in-conference games than it does today. If the SEC moves to a nine-game schedule or the Atlantic Coast Conference requires Notre Dame to play six or more games before the series arrives, that school can cancel the deal without penalty.
- Other reasons a school can cancel a game without penalty: “an act of God, national emergency, natural disaster, war, terrorism, civil unrest, or court order.” That sounds dramatic but is pretty standard language in these contracts. Alabama’s contract to play Utah State in 2022 says the game can be canceled without penalty for “fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, war, invasion, hostilities, rebellion, insurrection, confiscation by order of the government, military or public authority or prohibitory or governmental authority.”
- If one of the games in the Notre Dame series is canceled by a team up to two years before the game (Sept. 2, 2026for the 2028 meeting in South Bend or Sept. 1, 2027 for the 2029 game in Tuscaloosa), that school will pay $750,000. If a game is canceled more than one year but less than two years out, the school canceling it will pay $1.5 million.
- If it is canceled within one yearof the game, the school canceling the deal will pay $3 million. Either school can cancel a game before Jan. 1, 2020,without penalty.
- Either team in the Alabama-Utah State game can cancel the game for $1 million.
- Notre Dame will designate a conference to appoint officials for the 2028 game in South Bend. Alabama will use officials from its conference for the 2029 game in Tuscaloosa, presumably SEC officials. Whichever conference provides officials for the game will also provide replay officials.
- The game against Utah State in Tuscaloosa will have SEC officials.
- Both Alabama and Notre Dame can purchase up to 5,000 tickets for visiting fans at the game hosted by the other school.
- Alabama will provide Utah State with 350 comp tickets for the 2022 game and the Aggies will have the chance to purchase up to 4,650 more. Unused tickets for that game have to be returned by Aug. 1, 2022.
Reach Ben Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0196.