The Loftus Sports Center is entering is 19th full year of service for the University of Notre Dame athletic program in 2004-05.
One of the most integral athletic buildings on campus, the Loftus Center serves as an indoor practice facility for several Irish varsity sports (football, track and field, rowing, women's soccer, men's soccer, women's lacrosse, men's lacrosse, baseball and softball) and hosts competition for the track and field teams and lacrosse teams.
Dedicated on April 23, 1988, the Loftus Center saw its first football team practice on Sept. 30 of that season. Designed for use by all Notre Dame athletic teams as well as students, faculty and staff, the $6.3-million center measures 614 feet by 210 feet and stands tucked in a forested area of campus just north of Cartier Field and Moose Krause Stadium.
The Loftus Center also shares the newly revamped and expanded Haggar Fitness Center with the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, recently completed in the summer of 2005.
The Haggar Fitness Center ranks as one of the most comprehensive free-weight and exercise machine facilities in the nation. It features a three-lane track for speed workouts, a 40-yard Prestige Turf field for team workouts and over 30 free weight areas and 40 exercise machines.
The Loftus Center also features Meyo Field, a 100-yard Prestige Turf field with end zones, surrounded by a six-lane track one fifth of a mile long - making it as large as any indoor track in the nation.
Meyo Field sees extensive use by most of Notre Dame's 26 varsity sports throughout the year. Early spring home lacrosse games are held in the Loftus Center along with several top indoor track meets each winter.
The lengthy straightaway and wide turns of the Meyo Track provides runners with optimum conditions for competition at NCAA record pace. The facility's Mondo track surface is respected as the best track surface in the world and was recently resurfaced in 2004.
Irish track and field head coach Joe Piane has wasted little time in making use off the outstanding track, scheduling two top-rated invitational meets during the indoor season. Both the Meyo Invitational and Alex Wilson Invitational attract outstanding fields each season.
Ellerbe Becket Architects of Minneapolis designed the building and Casteel Construction of South Bend was the general contractor.
The maximum height over Meyo Field in the Loftus Sports Center is 54 feet and temperature and humidity are kept at 60. A mezzanine seating area accommodates 300 people and also serves as a dry land training era for the Notre Dame women's rowing team.
The Loftus Center is a gift of John R. Loftus of St. Charles, Ill., a member of Notre Dame's basketball team in 1944, 1948 and 1949.
Loftus is chief executive officer of JRL Investments, a real estate investment and construction firm and a member of the Mendoza College of Business Administration advisory council. The Dixon, Ill., native and his wife, Julie, are parents of six children, including William and James - both Notre Dame graduates.
The Haggar Fitness Center is a gift of the Haggar family, including Edmond R. Haggar, a 1938 Notre Dame graduate who is retired as chairman of the board of the Haggar Apparel Company in Dallas, Texas, and is a life trustee of the University. Also part of the gift was Joseph M. Haggar, Jr., a 1968 Notre Dame graduate and retired president of Haggar Apparel Company. Also part of the Haggar family, Mrs. Rosemary Haggar Vaughn, a daughter of the late J.M. Haggar, Sr., is a former executive director of the Haggar Foundation.
Meyo Field is a gift of Raymond D. Meyo, a 1964 graduate who is president and chief operating officer of Meyo Worldwide Inc. Meyo is a member of the College of Engineering advisory council. He was joined in the benefaction by his wife, Marie.