A prime indicator of Notre Dame's commitment to excellence in all sports, not just women's basketball, is its ongoing drive to provide all Fighting Irish student-athletes with the very best facilities in which to properly train and prepare for successful competition. Notre Dame has long held the goal of competing for national championships and it's imperative that the Fighting Irish Department of Athletics exceeds the industry standard when it comes to the construction of the nation's top collegiate athletics facilities.
Beginning with the 2000-01 academic year, an analysis of all Notre Dame athletics facilities was done with the goal of creating an Athletics Master Facilities Plan within the guidelines and scope of the University's overall (parent) master building plan. Since that time, the Athletics Master Plan has gone through several phases and adjustments in order to encompass facilities upgrades for all 26 Fighting Irish athletics programs, with many of these new and/or renovated facilities already completed and numerous other planned changes on the drawing board for completion in the near future.
Among the centerpieces in the Notre Dame Athletics Master Plan was the renovation of the Joyce Center Arena (south dome) and the construction of the Purcell Pavilion addition on the south end of the facility. This $33 million project was completed in two phases, the first in the fall of 2009, and the second in time for the 2010-11 academic year, with some of the highlights including a brand-new seating bowl (9,149 capacity); a state-of-the-art, four-sided LCD video scoreboard and accompanying sound system; the "Club Naimoli" hospitality/suite area; the expanded Leep Varsity Shop; and an enhanced graphics and theming display to honor all three of the arena's primary sport tenants (women's basketball, men's basketball, volleyball).
The newly christened Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center will grow even larger in coming seasons with the pending construction of a new basketball practice facility, which will not only include playing courts, but also locker rooms, dedicated weight facilities and meeting space for both Fighting Irish basketball programs.
Other significant facilities upgrades at Notre Dame have included the construction of the Guglielmino Athletics Complex (which houses the school's football program, as well as cutting-edge facilities for sports medicine, strength & conditioning and sports nutrition), Compton Family Ice Arena (home of the Fighting Irish hockey team), Alumni Stadium (men's and women's soccer), Arlotta Stadium (men's and women's lacrosse) and Melissa Cook Stadium (softball). Additional facilities projects to enhance the Notre Dame track & field, tennis and rowing programs also are in the works.