Concept art from the University of Notre Dame shows proposed additions to the stadium

Concept art from the University of Notre Dame shows proposed additions to the stadium (May 2, 2013)

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame Stadium, currently used fewer than 10 times a year for home football games and other events, could become a hub for regular student life and academic events on campus under a proposal being considered.

University of Notre Dame officials today announced they will undertake a feasibility study to determine whether additions should be built on the stadium to make it a hub for other facilities, such as possibly a student center, a media center, and/or a classroom and conference center.

An architect’s rendering of what the expanded stadium could look like shows additions on the east, south and west sides, and southeast and southwest corners. On the east side, the rendering shows the stadium connected to the nearby Joyce Center.

The rendering shows the field and bowl of the football stadium looking essentially unchanged.

Under all circumstances, the university will keep the original stadium intact, the university announcement states.

“Inspired by the university’s campus master plan, we will study the possibility of accomplishing multiple objectives – namely, preserve the campus’ pedestrian character by taking advantage of a central location for needed facilities, retain the integrity of a legendary stadium, improve the visual attractiveness of the exterior stadium wall, and enhance the game-day experience for our football fans,” the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, said in a written statement.

The feasibility study will consider whether additions should be constructed to the stadium to provide:

--Space for classrooms, conferences, speakers, meetings, receptions and other events.
--A student center.
--Resources for media, including facilities for the university expanding video and digital initiatives.
--A space for hospitality functions.
--Possible premium seating options.

The feasibility study is expected to take six to nine months to complete. Estimated costs and other details won’t be known until specific construction plans, if any, are approved, according to the university statement.

The study will include representatives from the office of the provost, student affairs, executive vice president, university relations, university architect, athletics and other departments, as well as outside consultants.

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

The stadium now is used for home football games, campus recreational sports events and the May commencement ceremony.

Notre Dame Stadium was modeled, on a smaller scale, after the University of Michigan’s football stadium. The original stadium had seating for 59,075 people. The expansion in the 1990s cost $50 million and added new seating, permanent lights, two new scoreboards and a new press box. The stadium now seats 80,795.

Here is the full news release from the university:

The University of Notre Dame announced today (May 2) that it is exploring an innovative approach to campus planning that would take advantage of the central location of the football stadium to make it a hub for, among other possibilities, a student center, media center and classroom and conference center.

“Inspired by the University’s campus master plan, we will study the possibility of accomplishing multiple objectives – namely, preserve the campus’ pedestrian character by taking advantage of a central location for needed facilities, retain the integrity of a legendary stadium, improve the visual attractiveness of the exterior stadium wall, and enhance the game-day experience for our football fans,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president, said after presenting an outline of the initiative to members of the Board of Trustees at its spring meeting.

Potential areas of examination include constructing additions to the stadium to provide:

  • Space for classrooms, conferences, speakers, meetings, receptions and other events
  • A student center for assembly and activity areas
  • Resources for media, including facilities for the University’s expanding video and digital initiatives for academic purposes and external relations, as well as a press box
  • A location for various hospitality functions for community and campus patrons
  • Enhancements to the fan experience, including premium seating options.

The study will include representatives from the Offices of the ProvostStudent AffairsExecutive Vice PresidentUniversity Relations and ArchitectNotre Dame Athletics and other departments, as well as outside consultants.

Costs and other details related to possible projects will be unknown until specific plans – if any – are put in place. Under all circumstances, however, the University will keep the original stadium intact.

Notre Dame Stadium opened in 1930 and was expanded to its current configuration in 1997. One of the nation’s most iconic athletics venues, it is used less than 10 times annually for home football games, RecSports events, and the University Commencement Ceremony.