John "Rees" LaBar ('53) speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for Notre Dame's new football practice fields, which will be completed in time for next season.

Notre Dame Breaks Ground On New Football Practice Fields

Nov. 14, 2007

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame will begin the process in the spring of 2008 of creating three new football practice fields adjacent to the Guglielmino Athletics Complex.

The three fields, two of them artificial turf, comprise a $2.5 million project that is based on the benefaction of John R. “Rees” LaBar, a 1953 Notre Dame graduate, and his wife, Carolyn, who reside in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in Long Boat Key, Fla. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct. 20, the morning of the Notre Dame-USC football game, to signify the start of the project.

The turf practice fields will be available for use primarily by the football squad, but also for lacrosse, soccer and RecSports use. The fields will be located side by side at the far north end of the current Cartier Field configuration. They will help meet the year-round demand for high-quality practice fields and also will reduce demand for the Loftus Center indoor field. Each field will be lighted and secured by an eight-foot fence, with an adjacent maintenance building to provide storage.

The current track, grass field and bleachers within Moose Krause Stadium will be removed beginning April 1, 2008, making room for the three new fields, all of which will be ready for use by the time the ’08 Irish football team begins play next August. A new track will be constructed just north of Edison Road, adjacent to (and east of) Leahy Drive, and southwest of Eck Baseball Stadium.

The removal of the current track and construction of new football fields are the next dominos in the series of facility additions and changes that also will include construction of new stadia for lacrosse, soccer, track and field, and tennis, all within the large area east of the Joyce Center.

— ND —