Yulman Stadium: A preview of the Wave’s new home

Yulman+Stadium

Yulman Stadium

Oliver Grigg, Print Sports Editor

Noise of construction fills the air and heavy equipment sits on the field, but the $75 million, 30,000-capacity Yulman Stadium remains on target for the Green Wave’s Sept. 6 football home opener against Georgia Tech.

Yvette Jones, executive vice president for university relations and development, and athletic director Rick Dickson spoke with media April 4 and provided updates regarding the athletic facility’s construction.

“The stadium is moving well on progress,” Jones said. “We’re about 65 percent finished overall [and] 100 percent finished on building out the frame of the press center. The scoreboard is up -it’s 90 by 24 feet -and all the lighting is in, and we’ll be testing that lighting in the coming weeks.”

The Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Family Club, which features approximately 1,500 chair back seats, two clubrooms with direct field-views, a sports bar, expanded concession offerings, and restrooms for premium ticket holders, is nearing completion as well.

“We’re about 60 percent finished on the Glazer club, which is the premium-club seating club on that second level,” Jones said. “The next thing is going to be finishing the bench seating in the bowl and then actually laying out the field.”

Dickson reported that seating for the club is 80 percent sold, and that the athletic department has sold or reserved 18,000 season tickets. Tulane is hoping to sell the final 12,000 to ensure a sold-out season.

“Even since [April 1], we’ve sold over 1,000 new tickets in addition to what we have already put down in secured deposits,” Dickson said. “We’ve done that since the end of the season through the [New Orleans Bowl] along with returning season ticket holders. In the 30,000-capacity stadium we’d have, as I’m talking today, [there are] just under 12,000 seats to sell.”

The university has been hiring staff, such as a game day coordinator, to manage the venue and prepare for games on campus this fall.

The stadium will incorporate as much of New Orleans’ rich culinary and lifestyle as possible. Concession stands in the Westfeldt Terrace will serve popular foods, such as oysters, po’boys and snoballs. Fans will have a view of the New Orleans skyline, including the former home of Green Wave football, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, from the upper deck.

Parking for the stadium remains a highly discussed issue, but Dickson and Jones said that available lots have been and will continue to be created.

“One of the things the campus has agreed to is, on game day weekends, [make other accommodations] for students, staff, faculty so that we can vacate and create as much occupancy for people coming in for the game on game day,” Dickson said.

Jones said the university has identified 2,500 available parking spots around campus and Tulane has consulted with a parking consultant to coordinate remote lots and shuttle services for fans. Surrounding residential neighborhoods will also likely provide street parking.

“We are contracting a professional parking service to run the on- and off-campus shuttle,” Jones said. “We’ll do that the first year, and then reevaluate.”

The stadium is roughly 120 days away from its completion, though Dickson said it is possible that the football team could hold fall football camp practices at Yulman in August.

“Right now, [the construction team] told us they were working on a 128-day schedule, which puts us right into late July, early August and we have to gauge it as we go,” Dickson said.

Dickson confirmed that most of Tulane’s game will be televised, but said starting game times are still undecided, as television contracts play a major factor in the decision process.

“We anticipate most of our games to be televised,” Dickson said. “Seventy-five percent of our games will be televised, both home and away…. We have not made any hard and fast decisions about what is the best [time] fit.”