Growing up a young Canadian, I was brought up with hockey as my first sport. Living in a border city like Windsor, I was lucky enough to grow up a stone’s throw from some of the greatest sports franchises in history. It also gave me a glimpse of college sports in the United States and the traditions and history surrounding them.
Last October, I visited South Bend, Indiana for the first time and had a chance to visit Notre Dame University Campus. As Notre Dame blossomed into a national powerhouse and the most well-known college football program in America under legendary coach Knute Rockne, the the need for a new stadium became evident and Notre Dame Stadium was built in 1930 under the direction and leadership of Rockne, who handled everything in its design from the depth of the sidelines (in order to limit the number of guests who could get sideline passes) to the parking areas and traffic flow systems. Sadly, he only coached there for one season prior to dying in a plane crash in 1931.
Curiously, from an architectural standpoint, Notre Dame stadium was designed to be a scaled down version of the famous Big House – Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, home to the Wolverines. It originally held seating for just under 60,000, but an additional 21,000 seats were added during a 1997 renovation, bringing capacity to 80,795.
Since moving into the stadium, nine national championships have been won by Notre Dame, starting with the 1930 title captured by Rockne. Seven Heisman Trophy winners and dozens of All-Americans have represented the Fighting Irish over the stadium’s colorful bluegrass turf, which was finally replaced by field turf in 2014. Twenty-five times, the Irish have posted unbeaten home seasons at Notre Dame Stadium and commencing with a 27-20 win over Northwestern on Nov. 21, 1942, until a 28-14 loss to Purdue on Oct. 7, 1950, Notre Dame won an impressive 28 straight home games.
Through the 2016 season, the Fighting Irish own a .752 winning percentage at Notre Dame Stadium, with a 335-109-5 overall record.
I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be cool if others could experience what it feels like to stand on the field in Notre Dame Football Stadium?” So I obtained the necessary credentials and set off to photograph it.
Here it is: https://goo.gl/maps/eoTQDfFiXUn . In the six months since I posted the image, it has been viewed over 20,000 times.
This shot of the entrance to the university: https://goo.gl/maps/gxiACRaAxsG2 was viewed over 60,000 times in six months.
What does this tell us? It tells me Notre Dame fans are hungry for digital content.
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