That famed grass at Notre Dame Stadium that Rudy cut and lined to help work his way into a spot on the Irish football roster? It’s gone. Or, at least, it will.
During Notre Dame’s spring game Saturday afternoon — on the NBC Sports Network, incidentally — athletic director Jack Swarbrick confirmed that the stadium’s grass will be replaced with a version of FieldTurf. Ripping out of the old and installing the new will begin shortly after commencement the middle of next month and is expected to be completed by the middle of August, well before the home and season opener Aug. 30 against Rice.
While Swarbrick stated that the university “had a strong predisposition to stay with a natural grass field,” the natural grass field had become unacceptable and embarrassing the past couple of years.
The move to the synthetic grass is hardly a surprise as Swarbrick has broached the subject numerous times in the past. The surface was admittedly a mess last season, with the South Bend Tribune writing in late December that “the field was replaced three times between March and October of 2013, and by November it was a slick, divot-pocked surface that frustrated Irish head coach Brian Kelly, the Irish players and Swarbrick.”
Given the level of frustration in recent years, the university and football program had almost no choice but to go the FieldTurf route.