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Tulane Stadium construction

captureTulane’s proposed Uptown football stadium has some opponents: mainly the people who live in the Uptown neighborhood where the stadium is to be built.

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News with a Twist

Let Tulane build their stadium

captureOnly in New Orleans would a city council member want to pass an ordinance prohibiting our local universities from expanding.

But that’s exactly what council person Susan Guidry is proposing. Thursday, the City Council could possibly vote on Guidry’s ordinance that would prohibit the universities, primarily on New Orleans east bank, from expanding or building any new structure larger than 250,000 sq feet, even though present zoning laws allow for it.

Guidry specifically is targeting one such university and project: the new Tulane on-campus football stadium, scheduled for ground breaking in late summer, early fall.  Tulane University is the city’s number one private employer and they want to build something new on their campus that is within the city’s zoning laws.

Guidry may have hurt her own cause by including all eastbank universities in her ordinance. Dillard, Loyola, and Xavier have come out against the proposed ordinance, and together, with Tulane, form quite an alliance. The presidents from those institutions feel the ordinance is unnecessary and potentially burdensome.

Tulane has raised over $40 million towards a new $60 million, 30,000 seat, on-campus football stadium.  New Orleans’ existing zoning laws allow for such a structure to be built with no variances needed.

Let Tulane build their stadium.


Some Uptown residents oppose new Tulane stadium

captureFootball fans may like it, but the neighbors aren’t so happy. Remember the big new stadium Tulane is building? It’s still scheduled to open before the start of the 2014 season, but Vanessa Bolano found some neighbors who are ready for a fight right now.

Signs outside several Uptown homes show some residents fear the new Tulane Stadium. As proposed the 30,000-seat, $60-Million facility will be built on campus in time for the 2014 season, yet attorney Jane Booth hopes to put a big speed bump in their plans.

“We are asking the city council to impose what’s called an interim zoning district, which will allow the New Orleans City Planning Commission to study this project so that they can ensure that there is a big foot between the University’s plans and the surrounding neighborhood.”

Booth says a 45-year-old law allows Tulane to build without involving the surrounding neighborhood, and now residents will have to deal with a traffic and parking nightmare.

It’s why she’s representing “Save Our Neighborhoods” an organization led by Maura Sylvester.

“We’re not allowed to give a lot of input. We are getting information dictated to us and we’re supposed to accept it. I would like more dialogue. I think a lot of people would like more dialogue,” says Sylvester.

Tulane released this statement:

“The new Tulane University Stadium will be a point of pride and economic stimulus for the city of New Orleans and it will be constructed in a manner that will benefit our university, our friends and our neighbors.   We recognize that building such an important new structure on our campus must be done in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of multiple groups, including our neighbors.

Tulane has met repeatedly with individual neighbors and with neighborhood associations, and we will continue to do so.  We have also met with our elected officials and have listened to ideas and concerns about design, traffic and parking and as a result, made changes to our plans. Tulane has also commissioned a study to ensure that game days will be managed with the least possible impact on our neighbors.

The decision to build an on-campus stadium, to open in the fall of 2014, is another sign of Tulane’s recovery and our deep commitment to the well-being and future of New Orleans.”

Attorney Jane Booth stresses, under the current zoning ordinance, Tulane is only required to have 200 parking spaces for the 30,000 person stadium. Several homeowners around the stadium are so upset they’re getting appraisals on their homes and talking about moving. Booth says homes lining the stadium will literally be in its shadow.


For a link to the Save Our Neighborhood petition click here.

News with a Twist

2011 was an interesting year in New Orleans

capture2011 was an interesting year in New Orleans. As usual, a lot of stuff was going on.

Like the rising Mississippi river, that threatened our very exsistance, or our reform minded police chief that hired his buddies to run some high paying details.

Beloved former Archbishop Phillip Hannan passed away and was buried under St Louis Cathedral. The city’s murder rate continued to be the highest in the country. Arnie Fielkow, city council president, after years of civic duty in new Orleans, resigned and moved back to Chicago.

St. Augustine high school, after nearly 60 years, stopped paddling their students, one of the last schools in America to do so.   Ex-Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard, and his pals, were indicted.  Both the new Charity and VA hospitals broke ground and are under construction on a 67 acre tract near downtown.

Speaking of downtown, the Superdome, after 36 years got a new name: Mercedes-Benz. Tulane announced that after 36 years of playing in the dome, they’ll be heading back Uptown to play football in their very own $60 million on-campus stadium.  Drew Brees keeps making us proud while a Drew Brees type, Chris Paul, left us after 6 great seasons and is now playing hoops for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Orleans Parish public schools are getting rebuilt to the tune of $25 million dollars a month for the next 6 or 7 years.  The new, nearly $900 million, twin span bridges opened linking New Orleans east with Slidell.

As we fade into 2012, a week from next Tuesday, #1 LSU plays for college football’s national championship in downtown New Orleans.  And the Saints will be hosting at least one playoff contest and maybe more. The new look Hornets are the youngest team in the NBA and are presently undefeated.  And the Final 4 comes to town in April.

It was an interesting 2011 and 2012 already looks at least as interesting. Have a safe and happy New Year.

captureMore than 30 years after demolishing its football stadium, Tulane University has announced plans to build a new one.

“Why are we doing this? The answer is a simple one,'” said Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University. “We believe it’s the right thing to do for Tulane University, Tulane football and for New Orleans.”

Cowen made the announcement Thursday afternoon in front of a crowded atrium on the campus, just a few yards from when the new stadium will be built.

After the stadium fell into disrepair, the university demolished it in 1980. Games were shifted over to the Superdome. Students and faculty had grown tired of traveling off-campus to see the games and in recent years, attendance dropped.

Construction is slated to begin in Sept 2012 and will be completed in 2014, prior to the football season. The stadium is said to cost about $60 million and will seat about 30,000.

News with a Twist

A new football stadium for Tulane

tulane-logo-400×225Something good is coming to Uptown New Orleans.  Although Tulane won’t make it official until early next month, the Green Wave athletic department just eclipsed a $40 million fundraising goal and will proceed with an on-campus football stadium.

Athletic Director Rick Dickson has been quietly raising tens of millions of dollars for the Green Wave to get back to playing its games in Uptown.  Saints owner Tom Benson is in for $5 million.  Another NFL team owner, Malcolm Glazer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is also a major contributor. Benson’s gift, by the way, put Tulane over the top of their fund raising goal.

The stadium is being designed by the world class architectural firm of HOK out of Kansas City.  The open-air stadium, expected to cost close to $60 million, will seat 30,000 fans.

Tulane’s new on-campus stadium is on an ambitious timeline, too. The Wave would like to break ground by next summer and move into their new digs by October of 2013.  That means just 2 years from now, if all goes as planned, Tulane will be playing football, on campus, in their brand new state-of-the-art football stadium.

This is obviously great news for fans of Tulane football but it’s also great news for the city of New Orleans.  Soon – maybe as early as this week – Tulane will have a new football coach.  And soon after that, Tulane will bring college football Saturday back to uptown with a new on campus stadium.  Amazing.

News with a Twist

Tulane’s football future

captureTuesday monrning, Tulane essentially fired head football coach Bob Toledo. Although Toledo officially resigned, the writing was on the wall after the Green Wave lost their last 4 straight games to fall to 2-5 on the year.

Tulane will definitely get a new head football coach and maybe more: the Green Wave could be heading to a new conference.  There is a lot of talk about Missouri leaving the Big 12 Conference and joining the Southeastern Conference and Tulane going to a new expanded Big 12.  That would be incredible.

The Big 12 gets the New Orleans and fertile Louisiana market plus a major academic school in their conference while Tulane gets back into a major conference for the first time since leaving the Southeastern Conference back in the mid 60’s.

But it gets better: Tulane is about half way to their goal of raising funds to build a new on-campus football stadium.  If Athletic Director Rick Dickson can double up on the financial commitments he’s already received, Tulane could be playing in a new on-campus stadium in a new conference sooner rather than later.

The dominoes are definetly falling at Tulane. A new head football coach is a mere formality. But the bigger prizes – major conference affiliation and an on-campus football stadium – are a real possibility.  And you don’t have to be a Tulane fan to be for this, just a fan of New Orleans.