Oct. 5, 2006
Press Conference Video –
The Joyce Center arena — home to the Notre Dame basketball and volleyball teams and the University’s primary convocation facility — will undergo a nearly $25 million renovation that will feature new chair back seating and other upgrades.
In addition, a new, two-story structure at the south end of the building will involve a new main entrance, along with club seating and a hospitality area, and house all ticket offices as well as a new varsity shop for apparel and souvenir sales.
The $24.7 million renovation has been underwritten with a $12.5 million leadership gift from Philip J. Purcell III, a Notre Dame alumnus and Trustee and the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley. The arena will be named Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The Purcell gift, combined with other benefactions, has brought the total contributions to the project to $22 million.
In accordance with University policies for new construction, work on the renovation will begin after the project is fully funded and designed. The University is actively seeking additional contributions.
“This is an exciting time for our basketball and volleyball programs as we plan major improvements for their playing facility, and we are tremendously grateful to Phil Purcell and our other benefactors for making this possible,” said Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White.
“The Joyce Center has been our home since 1968, and these upgrades and additions will give it a completely new identity, as a showcase facility for our athletes and teams for the decades to come. Our plan is to create a state-of-the art facility for both the student-athletes and the fans who watch them compete.”
Changes to the interior of the Joyce Center arena include: n n New, blue chair back seating from top to bottom of the arena, including all-new upper-arena sections. All seating will be replaced in the lower bowl (including platform seats), and the wooden bleachers in the upper bowl will be removed and replaced with treads and risers and permanent arena seats. The exchange of the bleacher sections for chair back seats will change the capacity from the current 11,418 to approximately 9,800. n n A stadium club/hospitality area (approximately 16,500 square feet) in the south end of the arena, with a separate, private entry and with premium club seating for nearly 800 fans (that figure is part of the projected 9,800 capacity). Included in this area will be food service and restroom facilities. n n New, fixed concession areas. n n Increased numbers of women’s restrooms. n n Increased handicapped seating options.
Exterior changes include: n n A new, two-story addition on the south end of the current structure. The second floor area will include the stadium club/hospitality area. The first-floor addition will include almost 4,500 square feet for ticket offices (including four exterior and 10 interior tickets windows), 3,000 square feet for the varsity shop, as well as a completely new main entrance and lobby situated between Gates 8 and 10. The new entrance will feature graphics and theming that highlight Notre Dame’s competing athletic programs.
Conceptual drawings have been created by HNTB Architecture, Inc., of Kansas City, Mo.
The interior seating changes provide an opportunity to consider new options for Notre Dame student seating. Students currently sit in both lower- and upper-arena sections behind the basket on the east end of the arena.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams previously moved into new locker rooms and team rooms within the Joyce Center prior to the 1999-2000 season. Both teams’ coaching staffs moved into newly renovated Joyce Center office space during the 2005-06 season. The volleyball squad moved into a new locker room and team room in the Joyce Center to start the 2005 season.
The Joyce Center renovation is the most recent project in a series of Notre Dame athletics facilities renovations to come about based on a 2001 athletics facilities master plan. The first of those additions was the Guglielmino Athletics Complex that opened in August 2005 and now houses the Irish football program. Also recently completed was a two-story structure, the Robert and Marilyn Rolfs Family All-Season Golf Facility, on Douglas Road adjacent to Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course. It serves as an indoor home to the Irish men’s and women’s golf teams, including heated bays from which to hit balls all year-round, indoor putting and chipping areas, offices, and locker areas for the players.
A $3 million gift to underwrite the construction of a new softball stadium was announced in July. The benefaction came from Linda and Paul Demos, the mother and stepfather of the late Melissa Cook, a softball player at Notre Dame in the early 1990s.
Originally opened in December 1968 as the Athletic and Convocation Center, the Irish facility in 1987 was renamed the Edmund P. Joyce Center after former longtime University executive vice president Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C.
Among those notables who have appeared at the Joyce Center are five presidents – Jimmy Carter, George H. Bush, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan (twice) and George W. Bush (twice) — as well as entertainment legends Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Elton John and U-2.
The building was dedicated Dec. 1-8, 1968, with a weeklong series of events dubbed Performance Maximus – and including concerts by Andy Williams and Bill Cosby and a Notre Dame-UCLA basketball game.
Joyce Center athletic highlights since ’68 include:
* Five men’s basketball wins over number-one-ranked teams; 11 wins over teams which were either (1) ranked number one or unbeaten, (2) ended up as the eventual national champion or (3) came into the Joyce Center as the defending NCAA champion; 456 overall wins, 247 sellouts.
* A women’s basketball win over top-ranked Connecticut in 2001 that marked the program’s first win ever against a number-one-ranked opponent and led to Notre Dame’s ascension to the top spot in the polls for the first time in program history the following week; the Preseason WNIT title in 2004; the past six seasons among the top 20 in the nation in attendance, including a school-record 7,825 fans per game in 2001-02.
* A streak of 27 straight home volleyball wins from 1993-95 and a program-best 36-match winning streak from 2000-2002; 74 consecutive regular-season home conference match wins from 1991-2004 (67-1 in BIG EAST home matches); five wins over top-10 opponents.