Notre Dame Stadium Rededication

On Sept. 6, 1997, the Fighting Irish kicked off a new season by rededicating Notre Dame Stadium. Opened in 1930, renovation on the House That Rockne Built began in Nov. 1995 and took 21 months to complete. Two new scoreboards, permanent lights, a new natural grass field and a three-tier press box were part of the $50 million expansion that added more than 21,000 seats. In the season opener against Georgia Tech, halfback Autry Denson (‘99) ran for two touchdowns, including the deciding score with under three minutes to play. In this ’Strong and True’ moment, look back at the Irish’s 17-13 victory and the historic day at Notre Dame Stadium through images from the University of Notre Dame Archives.

1997 Notre Dame - Georgia Tech

Notre Dame Stadium was rededicated on Sept. 6, 1997, in the Fighting Irish’s season opener against Georgia Tech.

1997 ND - Georgia Tech

The Fighting Irish defeated the Yellow Jackets, 17-13 in the first game in the expanded Notre Dame Stadium.

1997 game ticket

The 1997 matchup between Notre Dame and Georgia Tech was also the first game for head coach Bob Davie.

1997 Georgia Tech game program

The stadium expansion increased capacity from 59,075 to 80,225.

ND stadium construction

An aerial view of Notre Dame Stadium under construction.

1997 stadium rededication

Alumni Association Director Chuck Lennon (‘61), University President Rev. Edward “Monk” Malloy (’63) holding a large pair of scissors, Rev. William Beauchamp (‘75 J.D.), Associate Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham (’84), and Athletic Director Mike Wadsworth preparing for the stadium’s rededication.

1997 aerial view

The 21-month construction project was completed on Aug. 1, 1997.

1997 Georgia Tech game

Notre Dame captains Melvin Dansby (#51) and Allen Rossum (#15) meet the Yellow Jackets at midfield before the coin toss.