Notre Dame Reveals Details and Photos for $400M Football Stadium Expansion

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 28:  Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish waits torun onto the field with his team before a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Notre Dame Stadium on September 28, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. Oklahoma defeated Notre Dame 35-21.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The University of Notre Dame is iconic in every way, so it is only fitting that it is set to undergo a huge stadium and campus renovation that could one day be viewed as a landmark moment in the school's history.

According to Notre Dame's official press release, the renovation will be the biggest in the school's 172-year history and will cost an estimated $400 million. It will lead to the construction of three new buildings that will be attached to Notre Dame Stadium and will take up 750,000 square feet.   

The school will also add additional seats to the 83-year-old Notre Dame Stadium.

As seen in this picture courtesy of the University of Notre Dame's official Twitter account, the renovations appear to be a massive undertaking:

Per the press release, the renovation is expected to take 33 months to complete, and it will begin in two years or less. Notre Dame president John I. Jenkins believes that it will work wonders for the school's on-campus experience as well:

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. Since its founding, one of Notre Dame's greatest assets has been the boldness of its vision– the ability to see possibilities and connections where others saw only obstacles and fragmentation. This project continues that boldness of vision.

The west building has a particularly classic look, as evidenced by this artist rendering:

It will allow space for plenty of student activities, including recreational sports, as seen here:

The east building has a similar look too, and it will primarily house academic departments:

The essence of Notre Dame Stadium won't necessarily be changed, but the east and west buildings will create between 3,000 and 4,000 additional seats, according to the press release. That's good news for the Fighting Irish football team—coming off a somewhat disappointing 9-4 season after making it to the national championship game one year earlier—as few college football programs have such a big following.

Notre Dame's ultimate goal is to bring the world of athletics and academics together through this project. Notre Dame dean of College Arts and Letters John McGreevy believes it will create a unique situation, per Jodi S. Cohen of the Chicago Tribune:

It will be an incredible educational experience. In terms of student learning and faculty collaboration, it will be a huge step forward. Over time, we will almost forget that they are rubbing up against the football stadium. The fact that it is next to the stadium will be a nice bonus.

Although the University of Notre Dame is steeped in tradition, it is great to see the school moving forward and taking the lead in terms of innovation.

Attaching academic and student-related buildings to the football stadium will essentially bring all aspects of the university together.

The on-campus renovations figure to inspire Notre Dame fans from across the country and the world to make the trip to South Bend, Ind., once the project is completed, and that will only help Notre Dame's legacy to continue growing.


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