NEW ORLEANS — A group of Saints enthusiasts turned their back yard into a stadium complete with bleachers, a Jumbotron, a dome-like overhang, a field adorned with Saints paraphernalia and live half time entertainment, so that every game could be a home game.
Kathy Hirsch owns the home and said the idea for a stadium started in the 1980s when Jim Mora was coaching the team. “It was erected in 1991, but has been the way it is today since after Katrina,” said Hirsch.
The Hirsches have always had their friends, neighbors, and families over for game day, but during the ’09 season it got too crowded, Hirsch said, so they had to take it back outside.
Hirsch says about 50 to 60 people show up each time the game is played at the stadium, but they are prepared to host up to 100 people if the Saints make the playoffs again this year.
The ground is covered in AstroTurf, that their friends and pets are welcome on any given Sunday. Located next to a cemetery right off Canal in Mid-City, their neighbors don’t complain much.
“The graveyard is celebrating with us, they can’t be here in spirit so we dance for them,” said Dobre Stewart, a Hirsch long time family friend.
Friends of the Hirsches say they prefer the Mid-City homemade Superdome to the real venue. “Good people, better food, family, and cold beer,” said a family friend that has been showing up to their door on Sundays since 2008. “And it’s more comfortable!”
The stadium was built by hand by Mike Hirsch and his friends, and cost roughly $5,000 to complete, but each year they ask for donations during games to go towards repairs.
While every week, the group roots for a win rain or shine, but they are hoping to repeat the 2009 victory, grabbing another Super Bowl championship this year. With their support, the dome away from home in Mid-City could help them get there.