The prospect of seeing the Utes play at Notre Dame is driving ticket sales like no other road game has in the history of Utah's football program, even including the rivalry game with the team down south.
The Utes, who were given 5,000 tickets to sell for their Nov. 13 game at Notre Dame, already have taken more orders than they have tickets available, forcing the school to implement ticket limits for season-ticket holders.
Crimson Club Level 9-11 donors are being limited to 10 tickets while non-Crimson Club season-ticket holders have a limit of two, based on availability.
While fans who are accustomed to getting as many tickets as they please for road games might be irked at the ticket limits, the Utes see the situation as a good problem to have.
"It's a beautiful thing," said Doug Knuth, Utah's associate athletic director who serves as the director of the Crimson Club, which has about 4,700 members. "When you have a top 25 program year in and year out, one of the tougher things that comes with that is getting tickets, and we're getting a great travel tradition."
With more than 5,000 ticket orders in, the demand has far exceeded the 3,500 tickets the Utes had for the road game at Michigan or road games at UCLA or even BYU, Knuth said.
"I was surprised when I checked into it but we've never had to limit tickets for BYU," Knuth said. "If people have ordered 20 tickets, 30 tickets, they've gotten them. That shocked me, but people dislike going to Provo so much they just stay away."
The lure of South Bend, Ind., is much more enticing even though the Irish have struggled to live up to their past glories ever since Lou Holtz resigned in 1996.
Since then the Irish have gone 91-68, which includes the 35-27 coaching record of Charlie Weis, who was fired in December after five years.
The Irish have hired former Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly as his replacement.
While the Irish are rebuilding, the Utes are living high with their nine-game bowl winning streak and recent BCS appearances, sparking interest in the program like never before, Knuth said.
"This is turning into the biggest road game in the history of the program," Knuth said. "There are a lot of good things going on with the program and people are excited."
Fans who are worried about getting tickets to the game can still better their chances by donating more money before the May 15 deadline, Knuth said.
At that time the tickets will be doled out to those who have given the most and to those who have been Crimson Club members the longest.
Knuth has heard from some fans who already have made travel plans and now might not get tickets, but reiterated that tickets have never been guaranteed.
"We're trying to put a strategy in place to get as many tickets to fans as possible," Knuth said. "We're encouraging people to call us and talk through things and we'll see what we can do for them."
» Crimson Club Level 9-11 donors: 10
» Crimson Club Level 7-8 donors: 8
» Crimson Club Level 5-6 donors: 6
» Crimson Club Level 2-4 donors: 4 (based on availability)
» Non-Crimson Club season-ticket holders: 2 (based on availability)