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Let’s Redesign Notre Dame Stadium: Circulation

This week we’re looking at how you enter and move around Notre Dame Stadium

Rice v Notre Dame Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Now that we’ve got the seating laid out we’re back for our next installment of our Notre Dame Stadium redesign, and this week we’re looking at circulation, or getting you into and around the stadium to your seats. If you’ve been reading so far, you know the drill by now. We’re going to start off by looking at the results of our survey and get into what it is that you want to see.

One of the most popular answers that you wanted to see changed was the entrances into the stadium, specifically the north entrance. Several people also wanted to see a main entrance so let’s combine the two ideas and create a designated main entrance on the north side of the stadium. By looking back at the entrance to the original stadium as well as inspiration from the rest of campus we can create a larger more welcoming entrance at the north side of the stadium.

New main entrance at north side of the stadium
By author

Once you enter the stadium the circulation also becomes an issue, as entering at the tunnel causes there to be areas that fans can’t enter. If we extend the entrance further out we create the space needed to allow fans and players to use the area simultaneously, even creating a chance for fans to watch as the players enter the field. You can see in the area below the green that has been added to the grander entrance, leaving space for the tunnel to operate without fan interference. Including the main entrance we can get six entrances into the stadium at different points marked in green. In addition to the entrances, one concern that a lot of responses had was accessibility to different levels. That’s why you can see in blue each entrance has an elevator and staircase at either side for movement up and down the stadium.

Main entrance layout
By author
Entrances and vertical circulation
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Moving around the stadium the lower concourse remains mainly the same as it is, since we are keeping the original bowl and building out from there. At the upper levels though we have the opportunity to open up the concourses, another popular response. Making the concourses wider as well as raising the seating of each level slightly above the concourse, like in the section diagram below, allows more space for movement as well as providing the opportunity to view the field as you walk around. This also allows all of the concessions, bathrooms, and staircases/elevators to remain to the outside of the stadium.

Section of open concourses
By author

One thing that stuck out to me this week is that most of you were relatively happy with the circulation around the stadium. A few small tweaks can make a big difference to the gameday experience for fans but, as you can see, doesn’t significantly alter the stadium that much. Some additional minor changes, such as including handrails at the stairs to all seating areas, can also be made to ease movement around the stadium without any change to the game viewing.

Because we are working from such a strong base, the minor adjustments might not make for the most exciting read. Hopefully the sketches help make up for that. Next week we’ll be looking at stadium amenities and this time there will definitely be more to say.