Sept. 3, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The LaBar Practice Complex, the University of Notre Dame's new three-field football practice facility, will be dedicated Saturday (Sept. 6), on the morning of Notre Dame's 2008 season-opening football game against San Diego State.
The three fields, two of them artificial turf, are adjacent to the Guglielmino Athletics Complex and comprise a $2.5 million project that is based on the benefaction of John R. "Rees" LaBar, a 1953 Notre Dame graduate, and his wife, Carol, who reside in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in Long Boat Key, Fla.
The LaBars have a grandson David who was a 2008 Notre Dame graduate, and a granddaughter Lindsay who is a current junior at Notre Dame.
Rees and Carol LaBar together are two of the largest contributors in Notre Dame history to undergraduate scholarships for deserving students. More than 100 students from the Cincinnati area have attended Notre Dame as a result of their long-time financial support.
In addition, the LaBars have endowed the directorship for Academic Services for Student-Athletes, the department that provides academic support for Notre Dame's 650 student-athletes. They also have created two Hesburgh Library endowments.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct. 20, 2007, the morning of the Notre Dame-USC football game, to signify the start of the project. The project was completed in time for the Aug. 8 start of Notre Dame's 2008 fall football camp.
The FieldTurf practice fields are available for use primarily by the football squad, but also for lacrosse, soccer and RecSports use. The fields are located side by side at the far north end of the former Cartier Field configuration. They will help meet the year-round demand for high-quality practice fields and also reduce demand for the Loftus Center indoor field. Each field is lighted and secured by an eight-foot fence, with an adjacent maintenance building to provide storage.
The former track, grass field and bleachers within Moose Krause Stadium were removed beginning April 1, 2008, making room for the three new fields. A new track is being constructed just north of Edison Road, adjacent to (and east of) Leahy Drive, and southwest of Eck Baseball Stadium.
The construction of the new football fields is one of the latest dominos in the series of facility additions and changes that also will include construction of new stadia for lacrosse, soccer, track and field, and tennis, all within the large area east of the Joyce Center. All these projects are part of the University's "Spirit of Notre Dame" campaign.