Notre Dame will play on a field with a bit of a different look this coming fall.
The school announced Wednesday a few design changes to the playing at Notre Dame Stadium, which will have FieldTurf installed in the next few weeks. The traditional nine diagonal slashes in each end zone will remain, but there will be two noticeable additions to the look of the field.
An interlocking ND logo will adorn midfield, while small green shamrocks will be placed on the 35-yard line marks for kickoffs.
“The interlocking ND is the most recognized symbol of our University and its athletics programs, and we wanted to communicate that to our fans and all those viewing our home games on NBC,” athletic director Jack Swarbrick said. “The integration of the shamrocks allows us to achieve consistency across all of our new or recently renovated facilities where both the interlocking ND and a shamrock have a presence on the playing surface."
The installation of FieldTurf is the first of many changes coming to Notre Dame Stadium, at which a $400 million renovation project will begin in the next two years. The "Campus Crossroads" plan calls for new buildings to be built on the south and west sides of the stadium as well as changes to the east side building as well. The project will add significant academic space to Notre Dame Stadium as well as 3,000-4,000 additional premium seats.
As always, Swarbrick and Notre Dame officials have to balance the school's tradition and history with modernization attempts to aid in the growth of the football program.
“While being careful to maintain the look and feel of the original Rockne bowl, we are using this opportunity to make sure that every visual element of the field is carefully considered and helps to celebrate our university and its rich traditions," Swarbrick said. “Examples of the latter will include a reworking of the planters along the sidelines to include Irish coastal grasses with the mum plantings, as well as the application of appropriate color pantones and theming to sideline equipment, pylons and yard markers.”