Residents of Uptown New Orleans and students at Tulane University are about to start seeing tangible signs of the next chapter in Green Wave history.
Construction at Tulane’s first on-campus football stadium in four decades is running right on schedule, and fans will soon see concrete evidence of the new Yulman Stadium.
Tulane’s Executive Vice President Yvette Jones says crews are finished with the job of pile driving and are now moving to the next step:
“The foundation is being poured now and very soon you’ll see steel structures coming out of the ground. Very soon people will really know it’s a stadium.”
The first thing people will notice from outside the construction zone on the street: the light poles.
“In about two weeks they’ll start standing the light poles up – they’ll be about 125 feet in the air,” explains Riley Gautreaux, project superintendent.
Next will come the press box and stadium seats. Neighbors and students can expect to see stands and walls going up in August, according to Gautreaux:
“We’re going to start in the North end zone with the stands and work all the way around into the south end zone. And at the same time we’ll be erecting the steel on the home team side.”
Yulman’s price tag now: $70 million – all funded by donations.
Jones says Tulane has 75 percent of the money in hand and expects to lock down 3 more big gifts by the end of this month.
Green Wave fans and supporters have been willing to open their wallets to ensure the university finally gets back something it hasn’t had since the old Tulane Stadium closed in 1974: an on-campus football experience.
“It’s really an iconic facility for us because it really means coming home, and bringing back a program that hasn’t played on campus for almost 40 years by the time it opens,” says Jones.
The Green Wave played their final game in what was the old Tulane Stadium on November 30, 1974 vs. Ole Miss. The last collegiate game played in Tulane Stadium was the Sugar Bowl one month later on New Year’s Eve where Nebraska defeated Florida. Crews finished demolishing the old stadium – which was the site of Super Bowls IV, VI and IX – in 1980.
Contractors expect to be finished with the state-of-the-art Yulman Stadium in July 2014, in plenty of time for football season.