Upon its opening in 1994, the 2,500-seat Frank Eck Stadium became the latest jewel among Notre Dame's ever-expanding athletic facilities.
Located on the southeast corner of campus, Eck Stadium has become a favorite with the Irish baseball team as Notre Dame has posted a 503-187-2 home mark (for a .723 winning percentage) heading into the 2020 campaign.
Plans to build the stadium were announced June 7, 1991, thanks to a generous gift to the University by alumnus Frank Eck and his company, Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio. Eck was the firm’s chairman and chief executive officer. He graduated in 1944 with a degree in chemical engineering and later endowed a collection in that field at Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library.
Eck’s contributions to Notre Dame have totaled more than $35 million. The most recent, a $21 million gift in 2005, underwrote the current construction of the Eck Hall of Law, which includes a second building for the Notre Dame Law School and a multipurpose facility in a neo-Gothic archway that will link the new structure to the existing building. The gift was the fifth largest in Notre Dame’s history, the largest ever to the Law School, and one of the largest in the history of American legal education.
Eck’s previous benefactions to Notre Dame endowed a library collection in chemical engineering, underwrote construction of the Eck Tennis Pavilion in 1987 and the Eck Center, which includes the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, visitors’ center and Alumni Association headquarters, in 1999. He also underwrote a key addition to the baseball stadium in 2000, when an adjoining 9,000-square-foot indoor hitting and pitching facility opened to provide the Notre Dame baseball team with a valuable year-round practice area.