2008 Notre Dame Boot-Train Fact Sheet
Link to Stanford Alumni Association online registration page
(Please note that this year we are working with the Stanford Alumni Association on this event. This is a link to their online registration page. We are hoping that this will make the registration process much smoother this time. However, you will have to log on to your SAA account or create a temporary account to complete the registration process. Alumni- login using your username and password. Non-alumni/Guests click the link "REGISTER FOR THE WEBSITE" at the lower right of the page to create an account.))
Six years ago at this time, there was a mixture of confusion, anger and sadness spreading throughout the Stanford Football fanbase. The beloved Notre Dame train trip was being discontinued, and Cardinalmaniacs™ were mourning the loss of one of the great travel traditions in all of college sports. In much the same vein that The Bootleg started its initial print publication 14 years ago to fill a void for Stanford sports fans, we hopped to the rescue by announcing an emergency train package just six weeks before the October 5, 2002 game in South Bend. It was a satisfying success that left pleased passengers and their friends clamoring for the next train in 2004, 2006 and once again in 2008. After much consultation with our legal counsel, plus hours of professional therapy, we have decided to answer the call again and are launching the 2008 Notre Dame Boot-Train.
For several Stanford games in the 1990s against the Flailing Irish in South Bend, the Stanford Alumni Association had put together a package of transportation, camaraderie, food, drink and much merriment to get Cardinalmaniacs™ from Chicago to the game and back on gameday by way of train. It was frankly a wonderful and unique service for Stanford fans, which the SAA pioneered and made wildly successful through blood, sweat and tears. Although the Stanford Alumni Association's tour group couldn't do the trip for an affordable price in 2002, we at The Bootleg sponsored the event ourselves and cut the cost to $109 per person (game ticket not included) by organizing it directly. The SAA was going to have to charge $160 that year, and thus this transition to the Boot-Train was a great boon to you the consumer. Six years later, once again defying the fundamental tenets of economics, we have managed to hold the cost this year to a very reasonable $135 (if you order by September 12). This is clearly an exceptional value. After September 12 the price goes to $150 and the final registration deadline is September 26.
For those who have not previously been on this treasure trip, let us paint a picture. You arrive at the Randolph Street Station early on the crisp Saturday morning of October 4. Though the city is not yet alive, you sense a heightened level of electricity as you head underground and see a sea of cardinal and white. In a town all too saturated with leprechauns and Domer hysteria, you know you are boarding a train amongst kindred Cardinal spirits, and fellow rabid football fans. As you board the train, you see an array of breakfast goodies and coffee awaiting you, and you are handed your own special Bootleg souvenir of the game and trip. The nourishment for your body is welcome, but it pales in comparison to the nourishment for your Cardinal & White soul that the next couple hours will bring. You look to your left and your right. All the rows ahead of you and all behind you are packed solid with Cardinalmaniacs™. The mix of ages might surprise you, with a couple rows of twenty-something and thirty-something folks ahead, and some vivacious octogenarians just behind you. Though the generations span seemingly discontinuous cultures, the unifying bond of Stanford fandom makes quick friends, blind to maturity.
Depending on your fancy, you can imbibe some yell juice as the train approaches South Bend, or you can also partake in non-alcoholic drinks. Win or lose, the ride back tends to be a little more rowdy, as people throw down a few drinks as they revel in the game day experiences and prepare for a big night in the Windy City.
And the beauty of this whole shindig is that it allows you to go see the good guys Emasculate the Irish™ without spending your weekend in sleepy South Bend! Stay in Chicago and enjoy the nightlife of Rush Street, the world-class deep dish pizza, a steak at Gibson's and the shopping at Water Tower. No worries about driving or parking early Saturday morning, plus the freedom to have a few adult beverages each way.
Frankly, this is the only way to go watch the Notre Dame game. Those who have been there will tell you, and those who are jumping to go on their maiden voyage will not be disappointed. It is the Stanford Football experience of a lifetime.
So, get on the Boot-Train while you still can. We have no plans to take walk-ups on game day (October 4), and urge you to get your reservations in today. There is limited seating, and we are marketing this through several regional and national channels. We sold out in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Factor in the rebirth of Stanford Football under maverick head coach Jim Harbaugh and you can expect demand this year to be hotter than ever. Don't delay, and get your order in today! The Boot-Train is pulling out on October 4, and we want you on board!!!