Posted January 29, 2014

Notre Dame expanding, modernizing Notre Dame Stadium in $400 million project

Notre Dame, Stadium Renovations, Stadiums
An artist's rendering shows the new structures on the west, south and east sides of Notre Dame Stadium.

An artist’s rendering shows the new structures on the west, south and east sides of Notre Dame Stadium.

Touchdown Jesus will oversee a $400 million Campus Crossroads Project from his perch overlooking the north end of Notre Dame Stadium. While his space will go untouched, three new academic buildings, totaling 750,000 square feet of space, will tie directly into Notre Dame’s 80,795-seat football stadium, upgrading student experiences, academics and the stadium itself.

Construction is expected to commence once the school raises enough cash, which Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, says he’s “certain” will happen because past projects have also been funded by “remarkable generosity.” The buildings should take 33 months to complete. Once they’re finished, the 84-year-old collegiate gothic-style stadium will have modern amenities added on three sides.

A new building attaching to the west side of the stadium will hold student life services, a recreation center and a career center. With a large ballroom capable of holding 500 people, the building can also host large functions. On the east side, a new building will house both the anthropology and psychology departments, as well as a digital media center.

With nine-story structures on both the east and west sides of the stadium, Notre Dame will also be able to add 3,000 to 4,000 indoor and outdoor club-level premium seats on three levels — likely stretching the stadium’s capacity to somewhere around 84,000 – with terraces on each building offering up views of both the campus and the playing field. When football is not being played, Notre Dame plans for the stadium-related features to be available for both community and campus use.

Modernized concession facilities will also get woven into the new structures, and technological upgrades will include improved broadband coverage.

The existing press box will get torn out and replaced by new seats, moving the press to the east side of the stadium. NBC Sports, however, will still broadcast from the west side.

On the south end of the stadium, a new six-story building will be built for the Department of Music and the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program. The structure will make room for the installation of a new scoreboard — don’t fret, Notre Dame promises to steer clear of commercial signage or advertising — and offer up a completely redesigned Frank Leahy Gate, creating what school officials call a “grand entrance to Notre Dame Stadium.” Don’t expect any additional seating on the south side, but there will be a “hospitality area” within the new building.

A decision on the future playing surface hasn’t been made.

“The integrated nature of this project will maintain the compact walkability of campus, facilitate deeper connection and collaboration across the various units of the university, and offer an exciting addition to what we believe is the best on-campus student learning experience in the country,” Jenkins wrote in the letter to the campus community Wednesday.

With The S/L/A/M Collaborative leading the design, and with RATIO Architects and 360 Architecture helping with the sports-related aspects, the aesthetics of the new buildings will follow with the original design, inspired by coach Knute Rockne. There are simply some things Notre Dame will not change.

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

33 comments
DrBDT
DrBDT

@emhuddell My real wish is to cut out a notch in the north end zone. Just a symbolic notch, sacrificing 50-100 seats. Let TJ see the game.

DrBDT
DrBDT

@emhuddell Mostly good. Might've pushed for more use of actual stadium as opposed to what's essentially 3 new bldgs nearby, but it's a start

hubrob107
hubrob107

now move to a real conference cowards

Psy Power
Psy Power

It'll cost you if you want your name slapped onto the front of one of these buildings.

Keith100
Keith100

Another example that proves our institutions of higher learning have become institutions of making profits.

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

Remember when notre dame was undefeated and played an SEC team for the title game.  

x72
x72

Disgraceful to put this on the tax payers.

Cardsfan1120
Cardsfan1120

And who will get the Construction Contract? Walsh Construction of Illinois.

DrBDT
DrBDT

@emhuddell The notch in the stadium would be distinctive and add character. It would add to brand story.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@Keith100   Notre Dame is sitting on an endowment of over $8.7 billion dollars...  Their donors are generous and the university invests their endowment well too.

tmadz
tmadz

@Keith100 If you haven't been there then you have no idea. I got a chance to tour the stadium and actually got to walk around the stadium floor. The building, while it was expanded in 1997, doesn't have that many amenities. When you have a dedicated fan base from Chicago and surrounding states that is a lot of money to let go by. They will have this paid off within 10 years and will be able to use it for many more things.


It's a pretty neat little campus of 9,000 students. Much better than the campuses of the behemoth colleges.

x72
x72

@Keith100 Even worse coming from Notre Dame as they always act like they're above this.

tmadz
tmadz

@x72 Nothing at Notre Dame comes from the taxpayers. They pay for everything themselves. I'm not a golden domer, but don't make things up if you don't like them.

DrBDT
DrBDT

@emhuddell Of course, Touchdown Jesus doesn't actually care if ND wins or not. But his mother does.

Hola
Hola

@tmadz@x72Donations are tax exempt.  ND does not pay property tax, neither does churches.  Frankly, I think universities and churches should pay property taxes.

emhuddell
emhuddell

@DrBDT I like that idea. Interesting, creative and purposeful (but I would expect nothing less from you).