The University of Notre Dame says a large gift from an Ohio couple will assist the university’s marching band and RecSports program. The $5 million donation by Kenn and Pamela Ricci will go toward the construction of an outdoor facility that will serve as a rehearsal field for the Band of the Fighting Irish.
The university says the band has never had a location to practice on a consistent basis throughout a football season in its 170-year history. Ricci Family Fields will be a fully-lit, artificial turf football field with a band director’s tower. The project will also include a new storage building, restrooms and locker room facilities.
Notre Dame says when not in use by the band, Ricci Family Fields, which will include two additional lighted turf fields, will be used for RecSports activities, featuring 10,000 students.
"We are grateful for Kenn and Pamela’s generous gift, which will not only impact the marching band and students participating in RecSports, but will also allow the University to continue to pursue our ambitious path toward carbon reduction," said John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president of Notre Dame. "The Ricci Family Fields construction project creates an opportunity to build a 1,350-ton geothermal well field beneath the new playing fields, therefore maximizing the benefits to the University from this single important site."
Construction on the project is expected to begin in the spring of 2017 and be complete by August of 2017.
Kenn Ricci graduated from Notre Dame in 1978 and was recently elected to the Notre Dame Board of Trustees. He and his wife have made other gifts to the university in the past, including the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall and the Ricci Band Musical Excellence fund, among others.