Over one thousand donors raise $15 million to complete Yulman Challenge

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Yulman Stadium, with an estimated cost of $70 million, lies empty days before Tulane’s Sept. 19 matchup against Maine. The ‘Yulman Challenge’, announced last year to fans in order to cover the stadium’s funding deficit, recently met its $15 million goal.   

Erica Goldish, Contributing Writer

Fundraising for the Green Wave’s home base, Yulman Stadium, is complete. The $70 million football stadium was funded by Richard Yulman, alumni donations and about $20 million in debt financing. 

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the stadium, Yulman acknowledged the $20 million remaining in fundraising. He pledged another $5 million on the spot, bringing his total gift to $20 million. He challenged all Green Wave fans to raise the remaining $15 million. A total of 1,072 donors helped raise the remaining funds.

There has been backlash from the community about Tulane’s spending $70 million on the stadium. Critics argued that more money should be spent on academics. Bloomberg reported that in a study of the top 100 ranking football bowl subdivision schools between 2005 and 2011, academic spending increased around 8 percent per student, versus athletic spending which increased 51 percent per athlete.

Others argued the stadium was a fantastic investment.

“The goal of creating the stadium was to promote a strong team to increase revenue,” Executive Associate Athletics Director Brandon Macneill said. “The more success the team holds, the more people are going to donate.”

Tulane students also support the stadium.

“[I’m] grateful to the Tulane alumni for funding the stadium because it is an amazing way to bring the Tulane community together and creates strong school spirit among the students and faculty,” sophomore Anamika Tandon said.