The University of Notre Dame announced that they will begin building a new indoor athletic practice facility.
Currently, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish athletic teams, as well as various other organizations and groups, all share in the use of the Loftus Center. The Loftus was completed in the spring of 1988, and as the years have passed, it keeps getting more and more use - to the point of being open 18 hours out of the day just to get things scheduled.
The new Irish Indoor Athletics Center will be a massive 111.400 square feet facility and will be built where one of Notre Dame football’s current outdoor practice fields is located. It is being funded through multiple monetary gifts to the University. Nothing has been announced in regards to naming rights - but I’m sure at some point someone will pony up enough cash to get their name on the building.
From Jack Swarbrick, Vice-President and Athletics Director:
“Much as we have done with our approach to the Compton Family Ice Arena and the recent additions surrounding the football stadium, our focus when developing athletic facilities is to create uses that extend beyond varsity athletics. In this instance, in addition to creating what we believe will be the best indoor football practice facility in the country, we are creating additional recreational, club sport and community opportunities, while also ensuring that the students on our other varsity teams are practicing at times that allow for a more typical student experience.”
The new facility is scheduled to be completed in July of 2019, and will then be available for use by the Notre Dame athletic programs.
While there is certainly an arms race for better facilities in college sports, and football in particular, this move appears to be more out of an absolute need rather than something new and shiny. As of the moment, I have yet to see any plans for the new facility - but I was told by a source at Notre Dame that it will be, “really nice.”
So there you have it.