The University of Notre Dame today went public with plans for several additions to the football stadium.
Those plans include a three story rock climbing wall and a 500 person ballroom.
The project carries a price tag of $400 million—by far, the largest the university has ever contemplated.
While the so-called “Campus Crossroads” project would add up to 4,000 new seats for football games, that component takes a back seat to the academic and campus life aspects of the project.
“It (the stadium) sits vacant, other than 10 or 12 times a year,” said University Spokesman Dennis Brown. “Some of the university administration started looking at how we might be able to make that a hub for academic and student life and make it a place that is really used year round.”
Instead of a place to wake up the echoes on selected weekends, Notre Dame wants to wake up the ‘sleeping giant’ that is the stadium itself.
A nine story building addition on the east side would make the stadium home to the anthropology and psychology departments as well as the football team.
A nine story addition on the west side of the stadium would serve as a student services center with a 500 seat ballroom and a three story rock climbing wall.
The top three floors of the east and west additions would be used to add up to 4,000 new high-rise, high end seats on game day.
“So these are premium seats so they’ll have club amenities behind them. Dining and chair back seats and that kind of thing and will cost more than a typical ticket costs in the bowl configuration,” said Brown.
The Campus Crossroads project also calls for a six story addition on the south side of the stadium to house music and sacred music programs.
The news should come as music to the ears of construction workers. Up to 300 a day will be working on site at the peak of construction. Once the work starts in about two years, the project will take nearly three years to complete.
“So, I think we'll probably be pulling construction workers from beyond St. Joseph County. Not that they're not qualified, I just don't know that there's enough,” said Brown.
The project will include a new score board on the south side of the stadium. It’s not yet known if that will feature a jumbotron.
The issue of field turf is not a part of the Campus Crossroads project. That will be decided separately.