Notre Dame Stadium
Attendance Record: Sold out for 249 consecutive games
Sq. Ft. : 370, 371 gross
Year Opened: 1930
Architect: Osborn engineering company
Year Added: 1997
Architect: Ellerbe Becket, Inc., of Kansas City, Mo.
Surface Type: Field Turf
Stadium Seating Chart
3D Seating Chart
For all the legendary players and memorable moments it has hosted over the past 449 games, Notre Dame Stadium has unquestionably developed a lore of its own. The stadium, which celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2015, continues to be one of the most recognizable and revered structures in the world of sport.
It was the success of Knute Rockne’s football teams that prompted the addition of the original Notre Dame Stadium to the University’s athletics plant back in 1930. The spirit that was imbued by that Rockne era – and has been sustained by seven Heisman Trophy winners and dozens more All-Americans who have competed there – has changed little in eight decades of football at Notre Dame Stadium.
Originally designed by Osborn Engineering Company – the same firm that designed Comiskey Park in Chicago and New York’s Yankee Stadium and Polo Grounds – the total cost of construction exceeded $750,000 and it was patterned on a smaller scale after the University of Michigan’s stadium. The 1996 season was the final one played with the customary 59,075 fans at Notre Dame Stadium. A $50-million expansion adding over 21,000 seats was completed before the 1997 kickoff, bringing capacity to its present-day 80,795.
Though Rockne had a chance to coach in the new facility only in its initial season of use, he took a personal hand in its design. The sod from Cartier Field was transplanted into the new Stadium, but Rockne insisted on its use for football only. He kept the area between the field and the stands small to keep sideline guests, as he called them, to a minimum – and he personally supervised the parking and traffic system that basically is the same one in use today.
Notre Dame Stadium, maybe the most renowned college football facility in the nation, now qualifies as one of the most up to date as well, thanks to a major addition and renovations that boosted its capacity to more than 80,000 beginning with the 1997 campaign. The 1996 season was the final one played with the customary 59,075 fans at Notre Dame Stadium. A $50-million expansion adding over 21,000 seats was completed before the 1997 season kickoff. To upgrade on the 1997 renovation, two new scoreboards were installed in both end zones before the 2009 season that utilize the latest in LED-screen technologies.
The Irish have played in front of sellout crowds at Notre Dame Stadium in 249 consecutive games and 297 of the last 298 home contests have been held before capacity crowds. Every home game starting with the final two home dates in 1964 has been a sellout except one – a 1973 Thanksgiving Day matchup with Air Force. Notre Dame has played 449 games inside Notre Dame Stadium and compiled a 335-109-5 record (.752).