Zephyrs will have to incur all cost for prep football on their field

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – If the Zephyrs and the New Orleans Catholic league can strike a deal to play football at Zephyr Field, it will have to be done without state money.

Wednesday at a meeting of the Superdome Commission, SMG Vice President Doug Thornton said the state can loan money to get the project started, but must be reimbursed.

“The state of Louisiana can’t be at financial risk for the operations,” said Thornton.

The Zephyrs operate Zephyr Field, but the state is in charge of all capital expenditures at the ballpark.

Negotiations between the league and the Zephyrs have been on-going for months.

Zephyrs general manager Mike Schline said the initial start-up costs, including football equipment and converting the stadium from baseball to football and back, is anywhere from $300,000 to $350,000.

Schline said that number would reduce about 30 percent in each year following.

Thornton said the idea of prep football at Zephyr Field  is intriguing but says that the Zephyrs have to decide if they are willing to take the financial risk.

“I know it has been done at Hoover (Alabama), and it would be an interesting exercise, it would work,” said Thornton. “We are not opposed to it. But, the Zephyrs have to agree to this. Because they operate the stadium, they are the ones who are at financial risk.”

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