May 4, 2012 5:45 AM
New Wave staff
Tulane University officials expressed disappointment by the action of the New Orleans City Council on Thursday (May 3) in approving a motion recommending a zoning measure that could hinder construction of the new Tulane football stadium, but President Scott Cowen promised the stadium plans will continue.
President Cowen issued a statement after the council session, saying, “While we are disappointed by today's 4-2 vote of the City Council approving a motion to create an Interim Zoning District (IZD), we are encouraged by each council member's vocal support for our on-campus stadium. We are pleased with their promises to facilitate the process to keep our planned 2014 opening on schedule.
“While the Council's decision today initiates a process that we believe is contrary to the best interests of New Orleans and its universities, it is nonetheless only a preliminary step and Tulane will continue to plan for the construction of Tulane Stadium.”
The statement continued, “As always, Tulane will continue to work cooperatively with its neighbors. In fact, we resumed our discussions just moments after the vote with an agreement to schedule another neighborhood meeting within coming days.”
Tulane, Loyola and Xavier universities joined together to oppose the IZD measure. Xavier President Norman Francis spoke against it at Thursday’s council session. Also joining the speakers against the measure was Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson and Evan Nicoll, former president of the Tulane Undergraduate Student Government.
The New Orleans Saints also issued a statement in favor of the Tulane stadium plans.
Greg Bensel, the Saints’ vice-president of communications, said, “The New Orleans Saints wholeheartedly support plans to build a new stadium on the Tulane University campus. Our team knows firsthand that strong fan support can make a tremendous difference on the playing field.
“But most importantly, it builds community spirit and cohesiveness, and allows New Orleans and Tulane University the unique opportunity to showcase not only our great city but this great school. And add to that the positive economic impact it can have on our local economy. It is our hope that all issues can be resolved to allow the Green Wave to return home, where it belongs.”
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org