Joyce Center’s Sassano Dies

Joseph Sassano, 85, who led the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968 on the University of Notre Dame campus, passed away Sept. 19, according to colleagues and friends. 

Joyce Center
– Joyce Center
at Notre Dame

Sassano was an active member of the International Association of Venue Managers, which posted a tribute to him online.

“Not only was Joe a legend in the Notre Dame community for decades, but he also was a champion of supporting young professionals in our industry,” said Doug Booher, CFE, IAVM chair and director of University Events/Indiana University Event Services/Indiana University Auditorium. “As a South Bend native, I found Joe to be an early role model as I attended and worked on events that he hosted at the Joyce Center. He was a true professional and consummate gentleman; his kindness will not be forgotten.” 

Joe Sassano
– Joe Sassano

The 9,000-capacity  is home to the Fighting Irish basketball and volley ball teams.  

Sassano, a Notre Dame alum, managed venues in the days when the role of GM was more akin to that of a host or guide. That was shaped by his previous experience as a high school football coach, as noted by Venues Today. He is survived by his wife, four children and eight grandchildren.