Crossroads project at Notre Dame includes changes for player safety
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- While the Crossroads project benefits students, faculty and fans, some changes to the field were made with players in mind.
In Notre Dame Stadium, space along the sidelines has been an issue for many years.
Players and coaches were fighting for position alongside fans, media and even the bands.
With very little room, player safety became a priority when re-imagining the stadium as part of the campus cross roads project.
There will no longer be any seating on the field.
The bleachers have been removed from both end zones and both the Notre Dame and opposing team's band will be moved off of the field and into the lower bowl.
Former wide receiver Golden Tate famously dived into the band on a touchdown catch. While it made for great video, it could have been very dangerous.
All of these new changes have been made to help keep players safe during the game.
"We've had former coaches who've been concerned, not that the field and the end zone weren't the same as everywhere else, but there wasn't much room beyond that. So if you were running a crossing pattern at full speed in the end zone and you slip or you get tackled or whatever, who knows where you're going to end up. So, this is going to be a much better environment for that," said John Heisler- Notre Dame Senior Associate Athletics Director.
Another noticeable change is the addition of the opposing team tunnel. Now the visitors will enter the field in a small entrance in the north-east corner, just to the right of Notre Dame's tunnel.
This is on par with most college football stadiums around the country.
The only disadvantage is its size. It is so narrow, only two players can walk side by side.
Heisler says they limited the size of the visiting team tunnel in an effort to keep as many seats as possible.