Tulane Stadium needs rebirth
Allen Lottinger - May 17, 2012
For many years, Tulane Stadium on Willow Street in New Orleans was the No. 1 location for prime time football in southeast Louisiana.
There were Super Bowls, Sugar Bowls and many spectacular college games that kept up to 82,000 fans entertained in somewhat comfortable surroundings.
This writer remembers going there during college years when Tulane was a national contender in the Southeastern Conference. It was the place where Tulane fans could feel at home and cheer for the team they loved week after week.
It was also the place where national college champions would compete in the Sugar Bowl, which started there. It was also and one of the first stadiums where professional teams won and lost the Super Bowl.
We also remember those days when residents along Willow and nearby streets enjoyed the pressure of big crowds during game day encounters. Some of them blocked off the fronts of their houses along the street and expected compensation for football followers to park there. But most of them welcomed the excitement.
This writer didnít have to worry about parking since he lived right off the campus. And therein lies the difference.
It was ideal for those who went to the games to live within walking distance from the big stadium. Students especially benefitted from it.
Now that Tulane is planning to build another stadium on campus, an outcry has arisen from a few area residents who would have to witness the disturbances of crowds driving into the area and descending upon the stadium and whooping it up before and after. They say itís a residential area which is not so.
A college campus should be zoned for campus events. Letting fans come and go for athletic events is part of the activity.
When Tulane Stadium was in its hey day, there were few complaints about the noise and other disturbances to the neighborhood. Many of those old homes nearby on Audubon and Newcombe Boulevards were probably there when the campus was created. They lived through it all when Tulane Stadium was the centerpiece of athletic activity in much of the south.
Those who live there today must take that fact into account. Certainly, the city should try to help keep some residential atmosphere in the neighborhood. But it should also allow that a properly zoned college campus in a city needs to have some means of expressing itself.
When the Superdome was built and Tulane Stadium was abandoned and torn down, the right to rebuild a smaller campus stadium was not denied. It should be less disturbing than the original and add a little excitement to the area.
Residents should not complain.
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