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Irish to play home night game

Notre Dame will play a home football game at night for the first time in 21 years, the university announced Wednesday.

The Irish will play host to USC at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22. It is the first night game in Notre Dame Stadium since the Irish topped Michigan 28-24 in 1990.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to play host to a home night game. While we will do this only on a selective basis, we think it is important to occasionally use the platform of a prime-time game to promote the University and our football program," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "When you look back at the previous home night games we've played, a number of those have been hallmark events in the history of our program. We are confident this year's USC game will continue that tradition."

Notre Dame will also have variable ticket pricing for home games for the first time.

The cost for tickets to the Irish’s games against Michigan State on Sept. 17, USC and Boston College on Nov. 19 are $80. Ticket prices for games against South Florida on Sept. 3, Air Force on Oct. 8 and Navy on Oct. 29 are $70.

"The reality of our budgeting process is that football ticket revenue is critical to our ability to contribute to the University's academic programs and finance our other varsity sports. We are fortunate in that every Notre Dame home football game has been sold out for more than four decades," Swarbrick said. "In that light, we've determined this is the most prudent model to enable us to accomplish our overall budgeting goals while continuing to make sure that our games remain affordable. This approach allows us to provide our fans with options."

2011 home schedule (including off-site game)

Sept. 3: South Florida, 3:30 p.m. ($70)

Sept. 17: Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. ($80)

Oct. 8: Air Force, 3:30 p.m. ($70)

Oct. 22: USC , 7:30 p.m. ($80)

Oct. 29: Navy, 3:30 p.m. ($70)

Nov. 12: Maryland, 7:30 p.m. ($50 to $130) at FedExField, Landover, Md.

Nov. 19: Boston College, 4:00 p.m. ($80)