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Stadium efficiency

Sam Stryker | Friday, January 22, 2010

Earlier this month, the Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering opened its doors for the first time to Notre Dame students. Suffice to say, Notre Dame is not exactly hurting for new buildings. Earlier this academic year Geddes Hall and Ryan Hall opened to students. Apparently at Notre Dame construction is second only to finding a football coach who will take us back to our glory days.

What is interesting about all these new buildings is that we are not even maximizing the infrastructure that is already in place on campus. Think about it—one of the most important buildings on campus, second in notoriety to the Main Building and its Golden Dome, is open for use by students maybe 10, 15 times a year. Yes, you know exactly what I am talking about — the football stadium. Before the University breaks ground on any new buildings, I think we need to consider putting the stadium to good use.

Now, certain obvious ideas come to mind. How awesome would it be for the stadium to host the NHL’s hallmark event, The Winter Classic. An outdoor hockey game on New Year’s Day would be pretty cool.

And why not start hosting a concert or three at the house that Rockne built? As acoustically prestigious as Legends or the B Parking Lot may be, they could not shake a mic at the musical experience a live performance at the Stadium would provide. Imagine Taylor Swift rocking out at the 50 yard line or ‘Bad Romance’ blaring through the same loudspeakers that normally host the voice of Officer Tim McCarthy.

But those are just the obvious ideas. The real fun begins when one starts thinking outside of the box.

Every now and then I hear a rumor from a friend that the administration is considering building a new dining hall. What a ridiculous idea. Why not build an al fresco dining establishment right on the field right after football season? Heck, seating wouldn’t be an issue—you’d have 80,000 to choose from. The best part is the University could save on refrigeration and just store all the cold food in a snow bank.

Another idea that comes to mind is turning the stadium into a lecture hall for some of the larger intro level classes. I guess you’d have to give the teacher a microphone or something, but it would be nice to cut down on all the foot traffic that goes through DeBartolo in between classes.

Notre Dame students LOVE Christmas. Why not turn the field inside the stadium into a Christmas tree farm during the cold winter months? As much as I love my 3-foot tall plastic imitation Christmas tree, nothing can quite beat a good ol’ Douglas fir tree strewn with lights and ornaments. While we’re at it, we might as well make it a watermelon farm in the summer. 

Clearly, Notre Dame Stadium has the potential to be the definition of a multi-purpose stadium. Before we fire up the bulldozers and phone up the Bob the Builder yet again, let’s put our good stadium to some real use.