Study: Notre Dame brings almost $2.5 billion into local economy every year

File photo: The full moon silhouettes the statue of the Virgin Mary on top the University of Notre Dame's golden dome on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 // South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin

Number 5 Notre Dame takes on Pitt in just two days.

We all know this means traffic and busy restaurants around South Bend, but a new study shows the impact extends miles away.

The University of Notre Dame released its latest economic impact study. It found each home game brings more than $26 million into the community.

Notre Dame's impact is almost $2.5 billion every year.

For the first time, the study included Elkhart and Marshall counties in addition to St. Joseph.

Hope Celmer owns the French Press Coffee Shop in downtown Plymouth, almost 40 miles from Notre Dame.

She says on game days there's more than just caffeine in the air.

“When people get up early to go tailgating, it’s that kind of energy," said Celmer. "You can feel it when you drive through town, that all of a sudden people are awake at 6 in the morning, which never happens on a Saturday."

Tailgaters often come through her door.

“We’ve had people traveling who aren’t from around here, who are traveling to the game and they’ll stop because you know we’re on 31," said Celmer. "It’s always nice to have people from out of state, you get to talk to them about why they’re here. It’s almost always that they’re heading up to Notre Dame."

Marshall County was included in Notre Dame's latest economic impact study along with Elkhart.

The study found almost 500 full time Notre Dame workers live in those two counties.

“I commuted to South Bend for five years," said Celmer. "There’s lot of people who do that, commute up to Notre Dame. Commute to Mishawaka, the entire area."

The counties also see hotels filled on game days.

Marshall County's executive director of tourism says the impact is felt in many ways.

“Because visitors don’t see county lines like maybe you or me would governmentally, so it’s really great to see that,” said Cori Humes, Marshall County tourism executive director.

She says the regional cities initiative has helped the counties realize just how much they impact each other.

Visitor spending in Marshall County was up 18 percent between 2015 and 2017.

Notre Dame is one of many factors.

“Notre Dame is a huge, not only the heart of South Bend, but the heart of Northern Indiana as a whole,” said Humes.

The study also said Notre Dame helps draw visitors to Marshall County's lakes and blueberry festival.

The study shows the university helps support 16,700 jobs in the community.

Between 2015 and 2017, the university spent $271 million in new construction and renovations on campus.

It estimates students and their families spend nearly $93 million a year.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off