Notre Dame Stadium

Notre Dame Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana, the home field of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Located on the university's campus, it also hosts commencement.

Opened 88 years ago in 1930,[2] the stadium seating capacity was nearly 60,000 for decades. More than 21,000 seats were added for the 1997 season, which increased the capacity to over 80,000. After the Campus Crossroads renovation, the seat number decreased to 77,622. The playing surface was changed to FieldTurf in 2014, after 84 seasons on natural grass.

The playing field has a conventional north-south alignment at an approximate elevation of 730 feet (225 m) above sea level.

Notre Dame Stadium
The House That Rockne Built
Notre-dame-stadium-small
Aerial view from northeast in July 2009
Notre Dame Stadium is located in Indiana
Notre Dame Stadium
Notre Dame Stadium
Location within Indiana
Notre Dame Stadium is located in the United States
Notre Dame Stadium
Notre Dame Stadium
Notre Dame Stadium (the United States)
Address2010 Moose Krause Circle
LocationNotre Dame, Indiana
Coordinates41°41′53″N 86°14′02″W / 41.698°N 86.234°WCoordinates: 41°41′53″N 86°14′02″W / 41.698°N 86.234°W
OwnerUniversity of Notre Dame
OperatorUniversity of Notre Dame
Capacity54,000 (1930–1965)
59,075 (1966–1996)
80,225 (1997)
80,012 (1998–1999)
80,232 (2000)
80,795 (2001–2016)
77,622[1] (2017–present)
SurfaceNatural grass (1930–2013)
FieldTurf (2014–present)
Construction
Broke ground1929
OpenedOctober 4, 1930
Construction cost$750,000
ArchitectOsborn Engineering
General contractorSollitt Construction Company
Tenants
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA)
(1930–present)

History

Replacing Cartier Field, the stadium opened its gates on October 4, 1930, with a win over SMU.[2][3] The total cost of construction exceeded $750,000 and the original seating capacity was 54,000. Head coach Knute Rockne played a key role in its design, keeping the space between the playing field and the stands to a minimum. It is patterned, on a smaller scale, after Michigan Stadium, the main difference being the tunnel location. In 1929, plans were started by Osborn Engineering of Cleveland, selected for their experience in designing Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. The original stadium seated 59,075, measured a half-mile (800 m) in circumference, stood 45 feet (14 m) high, and featured a glass-enclosed press box rising sixty feet (18 m) above ground level. Initial stands reached 55 rows.[4]

Sollitt Construction Company of South Bend was the general contractor, and earth preparation began in the fall of 1929. Due to an unusually cold fall and winter, above-ground construction did not begin until April 2, 1930, so it was effectively built in six months. Over two million bricks were used in the construction of the walls and the concrete was placed in a monolithic continuous placement by section. There were over 300 workers on the site at most times and they worked five 10-hour days and one six-hour day on Saturdays. The average worker was paid one dollar a day plus lunch with the more skilled workers earning up to five dollars a day.[5]

The Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana (63329)
Notre Dame stadium between circa 1930 and 1945

The construction of the stadium project was brought to a head by the actions of Rockne. The 1928 season had not been a stellar one at 5–4, but the net profits for that football season approached $500,000. Rockne was frustrated with the slow and cautious Holy Cross priests and their decision making process about spending money on the new stadium. He could not believe that a decision could not be made when there was such a large amount of money in the bank. Because of this and a number of other issues, Rockne submitted his resignation to Father O’Donnell, the president of the university. O’Donnell knew of Rockne’s history of submitting his resignations and he also suspected that nothing would fully satisfy Rockne.

O’Donnell was willing to find a compromise but was also unwilling to put the university in debt to finance the stadium. He knew that the excess receipts from 1928 season and the projected receipts from playing all the away games in 1929 on neutral fields would bring adequate cash into the university to finance the construction of the stadium. O’Donnell also devised the scheme to finance 240 six-person “reserved box seats”. This precursor of the personal seat license would allow the buyer to purchase tickets at face value and guarantee the same prime location for ten years for an investment of $3,000 between the 45-yard lines, $2,500 between the 45 and 35-yard line and $2,000 between the 35 and the 25-yard line. The university raised over $150,000 on this idea alone.[6]

The Irish played their first game in the new stadium in 1930 on October 4, and defeated SMU 20–14. The first Notre Dame touchdown in the stadium was scored by "Jumping Joe" Savoldi on a 98-yard kickoff return.[2][3] The official dedication was a week later on October 11 against Navy, and Savoldi scored three touchdowns and was cited as "the first hero in the lore of Notre Dame Stadium."[7]

As originally built, the seating capacity was 54,000, but could hold as many as 61,000 with additional temporary bleachers. By 1966, its capacity increased to 59,075, mainly by reducing the average seat width from 18 to 17 inches (45.7 to 43.2 cm). In 1997, 21,000 new seats were added to the stadium, bringing the seating capacity to the present 80,795. The playing surface had always been natural grass through 2013, but it was announced on April 12, 2014, that after the commencement weekend, the playing field would be replaced with FieldTurf, an infilled artificial turf.[8] Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, in making the announcement, cited recent difficulties with maintaining an acceptable grass surface, and added that the change would allow the stadium to be used for football practices and non-football events.[8] During 2013, the university replaced the grass surface four times, including twice during the football season.[9]

Notre Dame Stadium Panorama
Notre Dame Stadium Panorama

On January 29, 2014, the university announced plans to attach three new buildings to the stadium, totaling more than 750,000 square feet in expansions and costing about $400 million, with a timetable of 33 months for completion. According to a published statement by university president John I. Jenkins, "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 the campus.[10]

The FieldTurf installation, as scheduled, began after Commencement Weekend on May 16–18, and the university sold 2-by-5-foot (61 by 152 cm) sections of the old turf to the public for $150 each.[9]

Structure and architecture

Lighting

Prior to the 1997 expansion, Notre Dame Stadium lacked permanent field lights. In 1982, portable lighting by Musco Lighting was used for the first night game in the stadium's history on September 18 versus Michigan. Permanent lights were installed as part of the expansion. The lights were paid for by NBC, which has held the exclusive television rights to all home games since 1991. The permanent lights were added primarily to ensure sufficient lighting for mid-afternoon games in November; the university's agreements with NBC from 1991 to 2010 stipulated that there be no home night games.[11] However, the stadium hosted its first night game in 21 years on October 22, 2011 when the Irish hosted USC.[12] It was announced in 2015 that Musco would be installing a LED field lighting system as part of the 2014–2017 stadium renovation and expansion project.[13]

Touchdown Jesus

TDJesus
The Word of Life mural, commonly known as Touchdown Jesus, is visible from inside the stadium

The stadium is known for its view to the north of Touchdown Jesus, a nickname given to the large mural entitled The Word of Life by Millard Sheets of the resurrected Jesus.[14] Installed in 1964 on the Hesburgh Library, the mosaic wall looms over the stadium. The mural's nickname is derived from Jesus' upraised arms, which are similar in appearance to the raised arms of a referee signifying a touchdown. The expansion of the stadium in the late 1990s partially obscured the view of the mural from the playing field. The Word of Life mural was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Howard V. Phalin of Winnetka, Illinois.

Campus Crossroads

Duncan Student Center
The Duncan Student Center, part of Campus Crossroads

In January 2014, the University announced a $400 million enhancement of the stadium, the Campus Crossroads project. This expansion features 3, 8-story high buildings, on the west, south, and east sides of the stadium. The expansion added more than 750,000 square feet of teaching, research, and performance space. The enhancement added new premium stadium seats. The three buildings are called the Duncan Student Center on the west, O'Neill Hall on the south, and Corbett Family Hall on the east. The project was completed in January 2018.[15]

Duncan Student Center

The Duncan Student Center serves as a student center hosting a gym and climbing wall, meeting and event spaces, several dining and food options, student media and club offices, and the career center.

O'Neill Hall

O'Neill Hall hosts the Department of Music and Sacred Music, including a 174-seat innovative interdisciplinary recital and performance hall, the music library relocated from the Hesburgh Library, lecture halls, classrooms, rehearsal and seminar rooms, offices, faculty offices, a music lab for studio production, and practice rooms. It also houses stadium and sport-related spaces and a club lounge.

Corbett Family Hall

Corbett Family Hall houses the Departments of Anthropology and Psychology. It also houses the Rex and Alice A. Martin Media Center, with 2,000-square-foot studio, and teaching space for the Department of Film, Television and Theatre. It also houses stadium and sports-related spaces, including the press box.

Attendance

Prior to 1966, attendance figures were based on an actual count of patrons through the gates. The largest crowd to attend a home game prior to expansion was 61,296 in 1962, against Purdue on October 6. Since 1966, attendance figures have been based on paid admissions with a fixed number of tickets available, accounting for the familiar 59,075 figure through the 1996 season. Until Ara Parseghian arrived as coach at Notre Dame in 1964, sellouts were not the norm. Since then, tickets for Notre Dame football have been notoriously hard to come by. As of the end of the 2015 season, there have been 249 consecutive sellouts at Notre Dame Stadium, and 294 sellouts in the past 295 games dating back to 1964. The lone exception was a 1973 game against Air Force which had been moved midseason by ABC to Thanksgiving Day and was played with the students absent. The announced attendance was 57,235. Attendance at all five home games in 1965 exceeded 59,000 as well.

Ndstadium basilica dome tdjesus
A view from the east side of the Notre Dame Stadium showing (from left to right) the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Golden Dome atop the Administration Building and the Hesburgh Library with the mural of "Touchdown Jesus"

The official capacity was listed at 80,225 when the stadium was first expanded. A subsequent computer revision put it at 80,012 in 1998 and 80,232 in 2000. Sideline bleachers, which had been removed during expansion, were put back in after a few years, bringing the figure to 80,795 in 2001. In January 2014 the University of Notre Dame announced the campus crossroads project. A $400 million renovation would add luxury boxes and increase the stadium's capacity to around 85,000, but after the project was completed in 2017 the seats were made wider and the number decreased to 77,622 which is the present capacity of the stadium.[16] The project began after the conclusion of the 2014 football season and finished in time for the 2017 season.

Other events

Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium, 2019
The 2019 Winter Classic

On October 20, 2018, the stadium hosted Garth Brooks as the first concert in the stadium. It is the first stop on his stadium tour, and it was also announced during the concert that he would also end his tour at Notre Dame Stadium.

Ice hockey

The stadium hosted the 2019 NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins.

Date Away Team Score Home Team Attendance
January 1, 2019 Boston Bruins 4–2 Chicago Blackhawks 76,126
January 5, 2019 Michigan Wolverines 4–2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 23,422

Rugby

Date Away Team Score Home Team Attendance
June 9, 1984  Canada 1-21  United States -
July 13, 2002  Canada 36-13  United States -

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Fighting Irish". Twitter. 2 September 2017. Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2017. @NDFootball opens the enhanced Notre Dame Stadium to a packed crowd of 77,622.
  2. ^ a b c "Savoldi in a 98-yard run as Irish win, 20–14". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. October 5, 1930. p. 1, sports.
  3. ^ a b "Notre Dame pushed to win". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. October 5, 1930. p. 15.
  4. ^ "New stadiums: Old Gray Lady and others – StadiumDB.com". stadiumdb.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25.
  5. ^ Notre Dame archives
  6. ^ Being Catholic, Being American The Notre Dame Story, 1842–1934, Robert E Burns, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame Indiana,1999
  7. ^ Mickelson, Paul (October 12, 1930). "Notre Dame swamps Navy". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. p. 13.
  8. ^ a b "Synthetic Turf to be Installed in Notre Dame Stadium by 2014 Football Season" (Press release). Notre Dame Athletics. April 12, 2014. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Notre Dame sells turf for $150". ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 19, 2014. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Notre Dame Spending $400 Million on Football Stadium Renovation". Article. Newsmax. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Notre Dame, NBC agree to deal through 2015". www.azcentral.com.
  12. ^ "Notre Dame Football Official Schedule". www.und.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05.
  13. ^ "Musco Press Release University of Notre Dame – Musco Sports Lighting -". www.musco.com. Archived from the original on 2016-01-08.
  14. ^ University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries, Hesburgh (Main) Library Word of Life Mural Archived 2006-08-07 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Tribune, Caleb Bauer South Bend. "Notre Dame puts finishing touches on $400 million Campus Crossroads project". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  16. ^ Columnist, Bill Moor Tribune. "Seats are two inches wider at new Notre Dame Stadium. Yes, it's a big difference". South Bend Tribune.

External links

1930 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1930 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1930 college football season. The independent Irish won all ten games, outscored its opponents 256 to 74 with three shutouts, and repeated as national champions.

The new Notre Dame Stadium made its debut on October 4, and was dedicated the next week. The closest game was a one-point win in late November over previously undefeated Army; the Irish won 7–6 at Soldier Field in Chicago with over 100,000 in attendance. This rivalry game was usually played in New York City. A week later in Los Angeles, Notre Dame shut out once-beaten USC 27–0 for their nineteenth consecutive victory.

This was the thirteenth and final season for Knute Rockne as head coach; he was killed in a plane crash the following spring.

1969 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1969 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1969 NCAA University Division football season. The Fighting Irish were led by sixth-year head coach Ara Parseghian and played their home games on campus at Notre Dame Stadium.

After 44 seasons without postseason play (1925–1968), the school ended its self-imposed bowl hiatus. With an 8–1–1 regular season record, the Irish were led on the field by junior quarterback Joe Theismann. They met top-ranked Texas in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on New Year's Day, but lost 21–17 when the Longhorns scored a late touchdown.

1980 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1980 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1980 college football season. The team was coached by Dan Devine and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

The 1980 season would be Dan Devine's final year as Notre Dame head coach. In August, he had announced that the upcoming season would be his last. The offense had 248 points for, while the defense gave up 128 points.

1983 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1983 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1983 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Gerry Faust and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

Notre Dame made it to the Liberty Bowl where they faced Boston College and their prized quarterback Doug Flutie. Boston College scored first on a 13-yard touchdown pass but missed the extra point. Notre Dame came back as Allen Pinkett and Chris Smith each rushed for 100-plus yards, while Pinkett scored two touchdowns as Notre Dame beat Boston College, 19–18, to win their first bowl game since the 1979 Cotton Bowl.

1984 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1984 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1984 college football season. The team was coached by Gerry Faust and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

1985 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1985 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1985 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Gerry Faust and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

1986 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1986 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

1989 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1989 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

1991 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1991 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

Starting on September 7, 1991, the National Broadcasting Company started televising Notre Dame Home football games. Notre Dame became the first Division 1-A football team to have all of its home games televised exclusively by one television network.

1992 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1992 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

1993 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1993 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1993 college football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

On November 13, Notre Dame played Florida State in a matchup of unbeatens. The winner of this game, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana, was certain to play #3 Nebraska (which would then move up to #2) in the Orange Bowl for the national championship.

The next week, they faced Boston College in one of the best games of the year, the Notre Dame offense piled up 427 yards of offense, scored 5 touchdowns, including 22 points in the last 11 minutes, but the game would forever be remembered on Boston College's last drive as their kicker David Gordon hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to win it 41–39, ending Notre Dame's bid for a national title.

1994 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1994 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

1995 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1995 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1995 college football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

1996 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1996 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

Notre Dame participated in the Emerald Isle Classic (Billed as the Shamrock Classic that year). The game was played in Dublin on November 2 at Croke Park, where Notre Dame beat Navy by a score of 54–27.

Despite finishing the season 8-3, Notre Dame, for some unknown reason, did not get a bowl game.

1997 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1997 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Bob Davie and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

2000 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 2000 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Bob Davie and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

2001 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 2001 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Bob Davie and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

Cartier Field

Cartier Field was a stadium in South Bend, Indiana. It hosted the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team from 1900 to 1928, and held nearly 30,000 people at its peak. The stands were torn down after the 1928 season to make room for Notre Dame Stadium, which opened in 1930. Notre Dame played its entire 1929 schedule away from campus ("home" games were at Chicago's Soldier Field), but nevertheless went 9-0 and won the National Championship. At Coach Knute Rockne's insistence, Cartier Field's grass was transplanted into Notre Dame Stadium.For more than 30 years after the football team moved out, Cartier Field remained the home of Notre Dame's baseball and track and field teams. In 1962, the original Cartier Field was replaced by a quadrangle adjoining the Memorial Library, which opened in 1963, and a new facility named Cartier Field was opened east of Notre Dame Stadium. Since 2008, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team has held outdoor practices at the LaBar Football Practice Fields, and indoor practices at Meyo Field in the Loftus Center.It was named after Warren A. Cartier, an 1887 civil engineering graduate and former member of the football team who purchased 10 acres (40,000 m2) and donated it to the University for establishment of the Field. He also paid for furnishing the lumber required to enclose the Field with fencing and furnished the lumber required for a grandstand.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish football

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is the intercollegiate football team representing the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The team is currently coached by Brian Kelly and plays its home games at the campus's Notre Dame Stadium, which has a capacity of 77,622. Notre Dame is one of six schools that competes as an Independent at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision level; however, they play five games a year against opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which Notre Dame is a member of in all other sports except ice hockey.Notre Dame is one of the most iconic and successful programs in college football. The school claims 11 national championships, but the NCAA recognizes the school with 13.

Moreover, Notre Dame has 21 national championships recognized by all major selectors; this is tied with Alabama for the most in the FBS. Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Ohio State share the record of seven Heisman Trophy winners, but Notre Dame leads Ohio State by the number of individual winners. Notre Dame has produced 101 consensus All-Americans, 34 unanimous All-Americans, 52 members of the College Football Hall of Fame, and 13 members of the NFL Hall of Fame, all NCAA records. Notre Dame has had 495 players selected in the NFL Draft, second only to USC.All Notre Dame home games have been televised by NBC since 1991, and Notre Dame is the only school to have such a contract. It was the only independent program to be part of the Bowl Championship Series coalition and its guaranteed payout, and it has one of the largest, most widespread fan bases in college football. These factors help make Notre Dame one of the most financially valuable football programs in the country, which allows the school to remain an independent.

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