Before the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, gathering for a big football game in the Crescent City meant a trip to the Tulane Stadium. It was the site for many years of the Sugar Bowl, three Super Bowls and the home field for a time for both Tulane’s Green Wave team and the New Orleans Saints.
Parts of that landmark structure were condemned in the early 1970s and the stadium was finally demolished in 1980. But now Tulane University has a plan to build a new stadium very close to its old footprint, and right in the (metaphorical) heart of its campus. The project, called Tulane Community Stadium, would return Green Wave football games to Tulane’s campus for the first time in 37 years and serve many other campus and community needs. The 30,000-seat stadium should be complete in the fall of 2014.
“Isn’t it remarkable that we’re going back to the future? That we’re bringing back the memories but we’re bringing them back suitable for the 21st century,” Tulane president Scott S. Cowen said at an event unveiling the plans.
Cowen described the stadium as a catalyst to improve the school’s football program and boost the school’s overall spirit and goals of community involvement.
“For Tulane it makes economic sense because it will enhance our football program, but we also see it as a great resource for our community,” he said. “It will nurture an esprit de corps on this campus that we have probably not seen for decades.”
Fundraising for the $60-million project is now underway, and the university already has $40 million dedicated. It also hopes to create a $10 million investment fund to support its football program. Tulane plans to partner with local recreation programs and high school athletics around the state to use the stadium, which will also host Tulane commencement and events throughout the year.
“I think sometimes people forget about Tulane’s decorated athletic traditions. I believe the new stadium is the missing piece of the puzzle to reclaim that rich tradition,” said Tulane student body president Evan Nicoll. “To imagine something as simple as having homecoming at home, it’s incredible.”
See stadium plan highlights at TulaneStadium.com.