Joyce Center Rink
Notre Dame's Joyce Center, which celebrates its 37th year of service to the University in 2004-05, serves as a multi-purpose sports complex, a theatre and concert hall, a convention center and an office building - and as the home of the Notre Dame hockey team.
The building was renamed in 1987 to honor Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C, Notre Dame's executive vice president from 1952 until his retirement in 1987. Formerly known as the Athletic and Convocation Center (ACC), the structure is now referred to as the Joyce Center.
Designed by Ellerbe Architects of St. Paul, Minn., the Joyce Center was conceived at the outset as a combination athletic-civic center, with $1.8 million alone contributed by persons in the Michiana area. The Center's distinctive domes, covered with a white vinyl roofing material stretched over steel ribbing, rise just east of Notre Dame's football stadium. The building is both wider and longer than the famous stadium and encloses more area than Houston's Astrodome. In all, the $8.6-million structure covers 10 acres of ground.
Campus officials draw the comparison with Stepan Center, a student activities building which once held the campus seating record of 3,800, by pointing out that Stepan can be placed within the circumference of the north dome's field house running track without touching the adjacent ice rink.
The field house, and in particular the hockey facility, has undergone a series of improvements that make the Joyce Center one of the finest facilities in collegiate hockey. Renovations to coaches offices and the lockerrooms along with the addition of a dividing curtain have given the hockey rink and the Irish more of a "home-ice advantage." Fans also have benefited from Notre Dame's commitment to hockey, with theatre-style seating that replaced metal bleachers on the north side of the arena.
City officials are equally fond of the figure of 464,800 square feet of usable floor area, a statistic which makes the Joyce Center the largest exhibition hall between Detroit and Chicago.
The south arena's design makes it capable of doubling as a basketball court and an 11,000-seat auditorium. Including bleacher seats, the arena holds 11,418 for athletic contests. The outer ring of the south arena bleacher seats also folds in, transforming the large auditorium into a more intimate setting, suitable for lectures, plays or musicals. The north arena is the home of Irish hockey and can be set up to hold 2,713 fans at normal seating and 2,763 with standing room. Virtually every sport at Notre Dame - varsity, club or intramural - can play or practice in either the field house, the arena, the five auxiliary gymnasiums or the several work areas provided throughout the spacious building.
In 1985, the Rolfs Aquatic Center opened on the eastside of the Joyce Center. The 4.5-million-dollar facility houses a 50-meter Olympic-size pool (25 yards in width) and spectator seating for 400.
In addition to these areas, the Joyce Center also contains the administrative and business side of the increasingly complex collegiate sports operation. Ticket offices, with mobile booths that can be wheeled to locations, are lodged inside, along with offices for coaches, athletic administrators, and sports information and press facilities.
These offices and facilities are located in a central complex that joins the two arenas and, in general, houses the people and machinery common to both. A spacious concourse also is contained in this core area, as is a tastefully appointed Monogram Room and the Sports Heritage Hall, surrounded by small meeting rooms. On the lower level of the concourse, there are several thousand lockers, a faculty exercise room, a golf driving range, squash, racquetball and handball courts and a central kitchen for catering.
The Joyce Center played host to its 300th all-time win at the Joyce Center on Feb. 13, 2004 when the Irish defeated Ferris State, 4-2. The hockey team's all-time home record now stands at 305-246-42 (.550) in 36 seasons on the Joyce Center ice. In 2003-04, the Irish equaled a school record when they went 15 games (13-0-2) without losing a game at the Joyce Center and for the year were 14-2-2 at home. The 14 wins were the second-best total (surpassed only by the 18 wins the 1987-88 team recorded) in the program's history.
Over the past six campaigns, the Joyce Center has been home to several huge wins for the Irish hockey program. The 1998-99 team went 10-0-2 in its first 12 games that season highlighted by a 3-2 win over Michigan, a 2-2 tie with Michigan State and a crucial late-season win over Northern Michigan (2-1).
The following season, the Irish picked up 11 more home wins, including a 1-0 win and a 2-2 tie versus CCHA champion Michigan State.
In 2000-01, the Irish upset fifth-ranked Western Michigan, 4-1, at the Joyce Center in mid-January. Notre Dame also saw its largest crowd at the Joyce Center in six years when a standing-room-only crowd of 2,749 saw the Irish play eventual national champion Boston College on Nov. 10.
The 2002-03 season saw the Irish win seven games at home with six played in front of sellout crowds. Four of those sellouts were standing-room-only crowds of 2,763, the largest crowds to see Notre Dame hockey since March 3, 1995, when 3,310 saw Notre Dame defeat Illinois-Chicago, 5-2, before new seating was installed following that season.
In 2003-04, the Irish hosted their first home playoff series since 1999-2000, defeating Western Michigan, two games to one. The Irish also swept fourth-ranked Michigan in a home series for the first time since the 1981-82 campaign. Both games were played in front of sellout crowds of 2,763.
Since the new seating configuration for the 1995-96 season, the Irish have hosted 53 sellout crowds for hockey at the Joyce Center.