SOUTH BEND — Some 100,000 people watched the fighting Irish beat Purdue in the season opener, packing the stadium, hotels, restaurants and bars -- and, spending plenty of money.
For Kildare's Irish Pub, located just across the street from the Notre Dame Campus in Eddy Street Commons, Saturday was its first taste of Irish football.
"In here it was packed," Kildare's managing partner Jay Murphy said.
Murphy says the location and the football hype kept his business busy from open to close.
"Every single seat until 3 a.m.," Murphy said, "We opened at 7 in the morning. We started filling up at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and it was pretty packed right up until closing time."
CJ's Pub on Michigan Street also saw a huge draw of students, fans and alumni. CJ's has been open for 26 years.
"I'll tell you, we had an absolutely awesome weekend," co-owner Judy Gish said.
Gish says business was better than anticipated. She says new coach Brian Kelly is the reason for the number of people.
It was an attraction that packed hotels as well. Nearly every room at the Varsity Club Suites was full. Rooms for next weekend's game are already overbooked.
With the Irish playing rival Michigan next week, business owners think the crowds will be even larger for the second game.
"If anything it will probably be even busier than it was yesterday for Purdue," Murphy said.