December 9, 2011 5:45 AM
For nearly 40 years, the Tulane Green Wave football team has waged war on the gridiron without having a stadium of its own to do it in. What many have said has been a detriment to both the football program and campus life, may soon be a thing of the past, as the university on Thursday (Dec. 8) announced a fund-raising campaign to build an on-campus stadium by 2014.
“Starting this very minute, Tulane is embarking on a $70 million Home Field Advantage campaign to construct a $60 million on-campus stadium and create a $10 million investment fund for Tulane football,” said President Scott Cowen. The $60 million project includes both the stadium and related facilities.
Cowen and others acknowledged the significant loss to the university when demolition of venerable Tulane Stadium began in 1979.
Cowen recounted stories about the old stadium he heard as soon as he arrived at Tulane in 1998. “[There were] generations of Tulanians and New Orleanians who had story after story about it impacting their lives.”
Rick Dickson, athletics director, also recalled his first days at Tulane 12 years ago. “I looked in my office to see an overhead shot of what at the time was college football’s nighttime attendance record—89,651. I said, turn that around, I don’t need to see that.”
Evan Nicoll, Associated Student Body president, said, “I think sometimes people forget about Tulane’s decorated athletics history and tradition. I believe that a new stadium is a missing piece of a puzzle to reclaim that rich tradition.” Referring to the university currently holding most homecoming activities at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Nicoll said, “To imagine something as simple as having homecoming at home. It’s incredible.”
The proposed Tulane Community Stadium has already received $40 million in funding, largely contributed by members of the Board of Tulane, according to Cowen. With an anticipated capacity of 30,000, it will be located on the northern part of the uptown campus, near the site of the old Tulane Stadium.
With his new head football coach, Curtis Johnson, standing behind him, Dickson said, “If you put us in a collegiate atmosphere, we can have an electric setting and as much college pageantry as there is in the country.”
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