For the first time in 40 years, it looks like the Tulane Green Wave football team won't have to bus down to the Superdome to play football games. With the repeal of the Interim Zoning District, the university can finally move forward with construction of its on-campus football stadium.
As a Tulane graduate, lifelong Green Wave athletics fan and New Orleans resident, nothing has surprised me in this ongoing dispute. I have seen numerous well-intentioned projects in New Orleans get stalled or even cancelled because of powerful neighborhood associations.
New Orleans City Council
These people aren't called politicians for nothing. When Uptown residents complained about the ramifications of a new football stadium in their backyards, the New Orleans City Council appeased voters by putting up a temporary roadblock in the form of the "Interim Zoning District."
But when New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who happens to be the city's most popular mayor during my lifetime, supported the new stadium, I knew it was only a matter of time before the City Council gave in. With the repeal of the IZD, construction of Tulane's new football stadium is set to be complete in 2014.
Tulane is one of the most important institutions in New Orleans. And if the university wants an on-campus football stadium like over 100 other colleges have, the Green Wave deserve it. Tulane helped its cause with a number of town hall meetings for local residents concerned about things like noise, traffic and trash.
Besides, it's not like Tulane hasn't had an on-campus stadium before. I'm not sure where the Uptown New Orleans residents think the Sugar Bowl was played before the Superdome was built. I guess none of the Uptown residents had been born yet when three Super Bowls and Tom Dempsey's 63-yard FG took place in old Tulane Stadium.
Tulane Green Wave football
Thanks to the hiring of new head coach Curtis Johnson and the certainty of a new on-campus stadium, there is now more buzz surrounding Green Wave football than at any time since the 1998 undefeated season. In 2014, something could happen that hasn't taken place at a Tulane home football game in decades: a sellout!
I was born too late to experience old Tulane Stadium. But the stories and tales from my elders make me sorry I missed it. As much as I love being in attendance in the Superdome for Saints games, it just never worked for Green Wave football. I can't wait to be in Tulane's new stadium when it finally opens.
Patrick Michael is a lifelong, diehard Tulane Green Wave fan. In 1994, he achieved his dream of graduating from Tulane University with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics. Patrick's greatest Green Wave memory is the 1998 season when Tulane went undefeated. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
"Tulane Stadium Plans Vault Forward After City Council Votes Down IZD," sportsnola.com
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