Wave’s return Uptown brings back memories of final season at Tulane Stadium

Oliver Grigg, Print Sports Editor

Before Saturday, Tulane football last played a home football game on the Uptown campus in 1974 at Tulane Stadium, which was constructed in 1926 and seated 35,000, until its size expanded to 80,985 in 1956.

The stadium, which was also the home to the New Orleans Saints from 1967-74, hosted three of the first nine NFL Super Bowls in 1970, 1972 and 1975, and was the site of former Saints’ kicker Tom Dempsey’s 63-yard field goal, which held the NFL record until 2013. 

“It was a cool stadium,” Tulane alumnus Parker Waters said. “It was enormous, and there was a lot of history there. It was amazing to hear the roar of the crowd right across the street.”  

While the stadium served as a landmark of Uptown New Orleans, the opening of the Louisiana Superdome, now known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, on Aug. 3, 1975 was the beginning of its end. Tulane Stadium was demolished in 1980.

Tulane’s final season at Tulane Stadium in 1974 began with a five-game winning streak, highlighted by quarterback Steve Foley and defensive end Charles Hall’s impressive play. Foley rushed for 142 yards, as the Wave, coached by Bennie Ellender, accumulated 340 total rushing yards in a 30-3 victory against The Citadel Oct. 19, 1974 at Tulane Stadium to improve to 5-0.

Tulane entered the sixth game of the year at Georgia Tech on Oct. 26 ranked No. 18 in the nation. Tulane, however, lost 27-7 and Foley broke his foot on a goal-line scramble. 

The defeat ended the Wave’s winning streak and began a six-game losing streak, which culminated in the Green Wave’s 26-10 loss to Mississippi in its final home game ever at Tulane Stadium Nov. 30. 

“It was unfortunate because Tulane Stadium went out in a whimper,” Waters said. “[Tulane football] finished the season 5-6, and there was no real fanfare.”

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