The latest entrant to the college football arms race just might be one of the sport’s superpowers.
Notre Dame announced late Friday that the school would soon be putting shovels in the ground for a new 111,400-square-foot indoor facility on campus that is appropriately going to be called the… Irish Indoor Athletics Center. The fundraising for the building has already been secured and the hope is that the entire space can be completed as scheduled before the time fall camp rolls around in July of 2019.
“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,” athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a release. “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.”
A big reason for the new indoor facility was simply the fact that the Irish have pretty much outgrown their current setup at the now-30-year-old Loftus Center, which is also shared among other Notre Dame sports. Given the weather at times in South Bend, it’s understandable how that can create a logjam during busy times in the fall or spring and the new building is intended to give the football team in particular some more breathing room.
The entire thing is set to be built essentially on top of one of the team’s current practice fields in the LaBar Practice Complex. In addition to housing football and both of the Irish’s soccer teams, the school notes the additional space could be used for “campus-wide and community events, sports camps, recreational and club sports, pep rallies, game-day hospitality and other programming” as well.
Combined with recent renovations at Notre Dame Stadium and other campus venues, the Irish are certainly doing their best to keep up with other programs the past few years when it comes to the facilities arms race in college athletics and this latest move just might be the final piece of the puzzle for head coach Brian Kelly and others on that front.