Notre Dame Stadium goes under the knife - proposed 'Jumbotron' will add atmosphere to the 80,000 venue
By: Jason O'Mahony | Published Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 7:18 PM | Updated Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 7:18 PM
Notre Dame Stadium overlooked by Touchdown Jesus
The atmosphere in Notre Dame stadium last weekend against USC was nothing short of breath taking. The fan base of the Fighting Irish saw over 80,000 towels been waved and loud rock music been pumped into the stadium. The game was more akin to an NFL Pittsburgh Steelers home playoff game than just another Saturday in a South Bend Fall.
“Yeah, I think we want to get better at it,” said head coach Brian Kelly. “We thought it was a good start for us relative to the atmosphere. I think we eventually want a big Jumbotron in there. We think that’s going to be something that adds to the atmosphere, too.”
“I hope that we continue to move forward creating an incredible atmosphere in there. It won’t be my decision to make. I think I have sprinkled that in the conversations [with the media]. I don’t think it’s a mystery that we would like that. But it’s not going to be my call. They know how I feel. I don’t want to beat a dead horse with it either. I think it’s pretty clear that we want to continue to create a great atmosphere.”
The call will ultimately fall to Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick. When asked in an interview earlier in the year with South Bend Tribune’s Eric Hanson about the future of a Jumbotron, Swarbrick replied;
“Whether that ever happens here, we have to have it fit into what we want our stadium to be and the tradition of the place, and so there’s nothing imminent, but I was interested in how many people had their view changed by that experience, because it does give you a remarkable ability to promote the university, which is what we did very effectively there.
“It’s especially effective in a night setting like that. It was a beautiful board. It was very vivid. It was more about what we did with it. We weren’t running any advertising. We were promoting Notre Dame. Now I’ll tell you who I heard most from was the players. They loved it.”
The addition of a jumbotron may obscure the view from Notre Dame Stadium of the most renowned campus icon....Touchdown Jesus. Many Fighting Irish traditionalist's are against the addition for this very reason.
Senior defensive end Ethan Johnson (high-ankle sprain), practiced for a second day and is doing “better,” according to Coach Kelly. Johnson is expected to play against visiting Navy Saturday. “The one thing we said to Ethan is, let’s not take a step back during the week and are in a hurry to get the work,” Kelly said. “He has a lot of experience as a player and that’s obviously going to prove to be a benefit for him. He’s getting more and more work. He’s not going to be out there for 50, 60 plays. But I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get some work on Saturday from him.”