New SPG Hotel Opening in South Bend – Go Irish!

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I know that hurricanes are rightfully dominating our thoughts and TVs, but in case you haven’t yet noticed, it’s also football season. I saw a few minutes of the Notre Dame game on TV last night and remembered how much fun we had heading to South Bend for a home game weekend several years ago. We went when my oldest daughter was still a baby, so she didn’t make that trip, but she will be almost nine by the time next football season rolls around. Almost-nine-years-old sounds like a great age to spend a weekend at the campus where she will clearly eventually attend school…kidding, kidding, sort of.

As we toy with the idea of heading back to South Bend next football season, I am reminded how challenging it was getting a hotel room in South Bend on points the last time around. In fact, for our last trip in 2010 we weren’t able to actually stay in South Bend and instead we used points to stay at the Country Inn & Suites in nearby Mishawaka. This worked out fine, but obviously I would rather stay a little closer in the next time around with my girls along for the ride.

I actually wrote about some tips for visiting South Bend and a couple other iconic football stadiums in my column this week, but there is a specific tip or two I want to be sure and share here, too, in case you have any interest in enjoying a football weekend in South Bend courtesy of points.


The Notre Dame football schedules for the next couple of years are already out (subject to some change, I suppose), so you could go ahead and target a game or two in 2018 or 2019. While there aren’t a ton of solid points-friendly hotel options in South Bend, there is a brand new Aloft South Bend opening later this month. Having a new South Bend hotel is great news by itself, but having one you can book for just 7,000 SPG points per night is even better!

The SPG award booking calendar allows you to make award bookings roughly 18 months in advance, so that means you can theoretically book all of the 2018 football weekends right now. If you are planning for a closer-in trip, there are still some 2017 home football weekends showing award availability, too.

We just locked in a couple of rooms for a trip we hope we can piece together for the 2018 football season. We have seen a couple of Notre Dame games in other stadiums since 2010, but I am super jazzed at the idea of a fall return to cheer on the Fighting Irish with the whole crew in South Bend. Our award reservation is refundable until a few days before the planned trip next year, so this was a very low risk way to see if the luck of the Irish is on our side to get game tickets and the other necessary components of the trip.

Will you be using miles and points to take in any football games this season (or next)?

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  1. We stayed at the Courtyard in Mishawaka. It was 10 minutes from the stadium. Mishawaka and Granger are basically South Bend (I never knew where one started and the other ended when I went to school there).

  2. Heading from California to Michigan/Michigan State game at the Big House in Ann Arbor next month. I barely found a hotel; everything is booked. Just by luck ended up with a King Suite at the Comfort Inn and Suites for 16K Choice points (instead of $300!). The Holiday Inn Express was available, but was almost $500 a night and would not accept my free anniversary night or points! From there we will head in to Detroit for the Lions game on Sunday and take advantage of my Marriott anniversary night at the Category 4 Marriott in Downtown Detroit with a PeopleMover station inside the hotel to whisk us right to Ford Field. I love my points!!!

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