Notre Dame exploring additions to stadium - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Notre Dame exploring additions to stadium

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Concept drawing of potential changes. (Courtesy University of Notre Dame) Concept drawing of potential changes. (Courtesy University of Notre Dame)

Built in 1930 Notre Dame Stadium is an iconic venue, and when people start talking about changes, nearly everyone starts punting around opinions.

"We're going to take a look at everything going forward," said Notre Dame Spokesperson Dennis Brown when asked about a new study the school plans to do related to the stadium.

The University of Notre Dame announced Thursday their plan to look at options to upgrade Notre Dame Stadium. That includes the possibility of adding a student center and classrooms, or building another sky box for premium seating.

It could also mean ripping out the field grass and replacing it with turf, and yes, it could even mean putting in a jumbotron. Hearing about the possible big screen is like nails on a chalkboard for some Irish fans.

"Notre Dame football is the roots of college football and I think we should stick with that," said Notre Dame student Tina Novelli.

Some students say the integrity of Notre Dame's strong tradition of being a stadium that has not changed much from it's construction in 1930, with the exception of the expanded seating project in the 1990's, is not worth jeopardizing.

"The design makes it look like a pro-stadium which I don't think we want here," said freshman Ryan Smyth. "It's cool the way it is."

Then there are select students who say they are on the fence about the possibility of change. They say while they are not thrilled with the possibility of changing some of the football game traditions, at the same time, they do like the idea of taking classes inside the stadium.

"If they're adding other cool stuff with it, then I think it could be a really cool thing," said Eric Tilley, a Notre Dame senior.

There are other students, who are even more eager though and think construction should start ASAP.

"I think it's great with the tradition we have here, but the fact is the times are changing and we got to keep up with it," said Notre Dame freshman Brian Neal. "We're going to compete year in and year out with teams that have turf and jumbotrons then we're going to have to do the same thing."

The university will use the next six to nine months to weigh the options before making any decisions. One thing is certain, the university will have quite a task keeping fans of tradition and new technology happy.

"We're going to maintain the tradition," said Brown. "We're not going to touch the inner bowl and we're going to maintain the view of library mosaic, but we're also going to move forward into the future."

The university does not expect changes anytime soon. Even after they look at what they can change, there would still be a two year period of planning the construction and then at least another two years to finish any of the construction.

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