IBJNews

Notre Dame plans $400M stadium, campus expansion

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The University of Notre Dame announced a $400 million plan Wednesday to expand the school's 84-year-old football stadium, adding thousands of premium seats, plus new buildings at the "House that Rockne Built."

The new buildings will house a student center on the west side, the anthropology and psychology departments and a digital media center on the east side, and music and sacred music departments on the south side, leaving the side facing Touchdown Jesus unchanged.

The Rev. John Jenkins, the university president, called it "the most ambitious building project in the 172-year history of Notre Dame," saying more space was needed to accommodate the university's broadening research activity.

"What's exciting about this project is it brings together athletics, faculty and academics, research and a student center, so it's an integrated model," Jenkins said.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said mixing athletics, student life and classrooms is what Notre Dame should do.

"It's such a powerful symbol given what's going on in college athletics right now, that you can take the stadium and say we believe in the integration of athletics into academics, and here's the living proof of it," he said.

The plans were presented to the university's board of trustees during their meeting Wednesday in Rome. The university announced in May it would conduct a feasibility study.

Jenkins said that the university now must raise the money, and that he didn't know how long that would take. He said construction would begin next year at the earliest and would take nearly three years to complete.

The buildings on the east and west sides will rise nine stories and include premium seating, increasing the capacity of Notre Dame Stadium from 80,795 to more than 84,000, although widening seats on the benches could cut down the number of seats. The press box will also move from the west to the east side.

The south building will be six stories high and include a hospitality area. The student center will include a recreation center and allow the university to turn the existing Rolfs Sports Recreation Center into the practice home for the men's and women's basketball teams.

As for adding video boards for instant replay or switching to an artificial playing surface — two issues that divide fans — Jenkins said there's no decision on that yet. Swarbrick said a decision on the playing surface will be made soon, given that new grass had to be installed three times last season because of repeated problems.

The stadium opened in 1930, when Knute Rockne was coach, and had a capacity of 59,075 until it was expanded in 1997.

The university said the club seating areas could also be used for academic events, classes, conferences and career fairs.

Jenkins said adding buildings to the stadium helps avoid campus sprawl, by adding much-needed space to an area he described as a "crossroads," helping the university maintain a pedestrian campus.

The university has expanded its research efforts in the past decade and recently announced plans to hire 80 faculty in chemical and biomolecular engineering, nanotechnology, analytical chemistry and biochemistry, economics and nuclear physics.

"Our research activity has just really taken off, particularly in science and technology, which require lab space. So there is just more activity in that area that needs space," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the project shows Notre Dame isn't being complacent.

"We really have a vision to dream big and look at possibilities that haven't yet been realized. I see this as part of that ongoing effort to dream bigger," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT