Notre Dame plans $400M renovation to football stadium

Written By BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media Posted: 03/03/2014, 04:06pm
Array In this artists rendering provided by The University of Notre Dame is the school's new football stadium. Notre Dame announced plans Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 to expand the school’s 84-year-old football stadium, adding up to 4,000 premium seats and spending about $400 million to add buildings on three sides of the “House that Rockne Built.” (AP Photo/The University of Notre Dame)

Premium seats, between 3,000-4,000, are just part of a $400 million project centered around Notre Dame’s storied football stadium.

The university announced its “Campus Crossroads Project” on Wednesday.

The plan calls for buildings on the east, west and south sides of Notre Dame Stadium, totaling more than 750,000 square feet. The east and west buildings also will include the premium seats for the football stadium with supporting club amenities. A final capacity total has yet to be determined.

According to a news release issued by the university, construction will begin in two years or sooner and take approximately 33 months to complete.

Notre Dame Stadium opened in 1930 and was expanded to its current configuration in 1997.

“At a time when so many would call into question the viability of the collegiate sports model in America, it is fitting that Notre Dame, a perennial leader in the measures of academic performance by student-athletes, offers a bold vision providing emphatic evidence that the full integration of athletics into the academic mission of a university is not only possible but desirable,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “(Football) coach Brian Kelly and I are thrilled that one of the most famous sports venues in the world will now also be known as one of the most innovative educational facilities.”

The plan will not impact the view of Touchdown Jesus.

The west building will is for student life services, including space for student organizations, a recreation center and career center. The east building will include the anthropology and psychology departments and a digital media center. The south building will include the Department of Music and the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program.

According to the release, it’s the largest building project in the university’s history.

“At a time when some are questioning the future of the residential college campus, we believe the investment in these new facilities, which will house new research and teaching venues, several academic departments, a much-expanded student center, a digital media center and a variety of hospitality and programming spaces, will greatly enhance the campus experience for all those who study, live, work here and visit Notre Dame, as well as new amenities that will deliver outstanding game day experiences for Irish fans,” said Rev. John Jenkins, the university’s president, in a statement.

Details like the introduction of video and playing surface at Notre Dame Stadium have not been finalized. The press box will move from the west to the east side.

The project also provided a plus for Notre Dame’s basketball programs. The Rolfs Sports Recreation Center will be renovated and serve as a practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

Twitter: @lamondpope

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