Few football programs need a press release to discuss the markings on their home football field. But after months of wonderment by certain segments of the Irish football fanbase, the athletic department gave us an early “look” at what the new synthetic playing surface will look like when Notre Dame takes the field this fall.
There will be subtle changes. But “a strong sense of history will permeate the look of the field and its markings,” according to the official release.
Let’s get to the big stuff first. The interlocking ND logo will be at midfield, a change from the previous playing surface. In place of the hash marks on the 35-yard line where the ball is placed for kickoffs, a small green shamrock will be on the field. Athletic director Jack Swarbrick talked about the rationale for the changes.
“The interlocking ND is the most recognized symbol of our University and its athletics programs, and we wanted to communicate that to our fans and all those viewing our home games on NBC,” Swarbrick said.
“The integration of the shamrocks allows us to achieve consistency across all of our new or recently renovated facilities where both the interlocking ND and a shamrock have a presence on the playing surface.”
The traditional hashmarks in the end zone will also remain. But lest you think they are just diagonal lines, the year of Notre Dame’s founding will be honored, with a total of 18 hash marks (nine in each) set at a 42 degree angle towards the Basilica and Golden Dome. (Get it? 1842.)
Even the planters in front of the gold seats will be attended to, with Irish coastal grasses joining the mums.
The synthetic surface will be delivered next week and installed shortly after, completing the resurfacing with plenty of time.