Ricci family donates $5 million for marching band practice fields
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, July 27, 2016
The Band of the Fighting Irish will soon have a new home on campus: a permanent outdoor rehearsal field.
A $5 million gift from Kenn and Pamela Ricci of Willoughby, Ohio, will be used to create three fully-lit, artificial turf football fields adjacent to the Stepan Center, according to a University press release.
The Ricci Family Fields will provide a practice space for the marching band, including a new storage building, restrooms and locker room facilities. The field will also be used for RecSports activities throughout the year, according to the release.
John Affleck-Graves, University executive vice president, said Notre Dame is grateful for the Riccis’ gift.
“[It] will not only impact the marching band and students participating in RecSports, but will also allow the University to continue to pursue our ambitious path toward carbon reduction,” Affleck-Graves said in the release. “The Ricci Family Fields construction project creates an opportunity to build a 1,350-ton geothermal well field beneath the new playing fields, therefore maximizing the benefits to the University from this single important site.”
According to the release, construction on the Ricci Family Fields will begin in spring 2017 and is expected to be completed by August 2017.
Kenn Ricci is a 1978 graduate of the University and was a member of the band during his undergraduate career, according to the release.
“The band in many ways is the audio spirit of Notre Dame, and we are very proud to contribute to its continuing mission and successes,” Ricci said in the release.
Ricci, who is currently a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, has also contributed money to create the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall and the Ricci Band Musical Excellence fund.
The gift was announced amidst a number of other campus construction projects working to improve student life at Notre Dame, including the LaFortune Student Center renovations, the construction of two new residence halls and the Campus Crossroads project.
“The Riccis’ gift will not only ensure the band has a first-rate, permanent home to practice, but will serve generations of students through our nationally-renowned club and intramural sports programs,” Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president of student affairs, said in the release.