Tulane Stadium

Tulane Stadium

stadium_name = Tulane Stadium
nickname = The Sugar Bowl

location = New Orleans, Louisiana (now demolished)
broke_ground = N/A
opened = October 23, 1926
closed = August 3, 1975
demolished = 1980
owner = Tulane University
operator = Tulane University
surface = Grass; AstroTurf (1971-75)
construction_cost = $295,968 [http://www.tulane.edu/~alumni/potpourri/VIIF.pdf Tulane Stadium History] ]
architect = Unknown
former_names =
tenants = New Orleans Saints (NFL) (1967-1974)
Sugar Bowl (NCAA) (1935-1974)
Tulane Green Wave (NCAA) (1926-1974)
Super Bowl (NFL) (1970, 1972, 1975)
seating_capacity = 80,985 Football

Tulane Stadium was an outdoor football stadium located in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1926 to 1980. Officially known as the Third Tulane Stadium, it replaced the "Second Tulane Stadium" where the Telephone Exchange Building is now located [http://www.tulane.edu/~alumni/potpourri/VIIF.pdf Tulane Stadium History] ] . It was bounded by Willow and Calhoun Streets, Audubon Boulevard, and South Claiborne Avenue.



The stadium was opened in 1926 with a seating capacity of roughly 35,000. Tulane Stadium was built on Tulane University's campus (before 1871, Tulane's campus was Paul Foucher's Plantation, where Foucher's father-in-law, Etienne de Bore, had first granulated sugar from cane syrup).

The institution of the annual Sugar Bowl game

In 1935, the first Sugar Bowl was played in Tulane Stadium. The term "Sugar Bowl" had been coined by Fred Digby, sports editor of the "New Orleans Item," who had been pushing for an annual New Year's Day football game since 1927.cite web | title = Sugar Bowl History | work = Allstate Sugar Bowl | url = | accessdate = 5 December | accessyear = 2006 ]

Since the institution of the annual Sugar Bowl game, Tulane Stadium itself was often informally referred to as "the Sugar Bowl". It was also billed as "The Queen of Southern Stadiums". It was in a portion of Tulane University's main campus in Uptown New Orleans fronting Willow Street, with parking stretching to Claiborne Avenue. The original 1926 structure was mostly of brick and concrete. The first Sugar Bowl game was played on January 1, 1935 (Tulane vs Temple University).

eating expansion

The stadium was eventually expanded to seat up to 80,985 fans. The additional seating sections were metal. Lights were installed in 1957. The record attendance for the stadium was set on December 1, 1973, when 86,598 watched Tulane defeat in-state rival LSU 14-0, ending a 25-year winless streak for the Green Wave against the Bayou Bengals. It was the last installment of the LSU-Tulane rivalry played on the Tulane campus.

Tulane's final game on campus

Tulane's final game on campus came 364 days later, a 26-10 loss to Ole Miss on a miserably cold afternoon November 30, 1974. One month later, Nebraska won the final college game in the stadium, defeating Florida 13-10 in the Sugar Bowl on December 31.

As the home of the New Orleans Saints

In addition to hosting Tulane University football games and the Sugar Bowl, the stadium was also home to the National Football League's New Orleans Saints from 1967 through 1974. The Saints' first game was a 27-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on September 17, 1967, although New Orleans provided fans with a memorable highlight when John Gilliam returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. The Saints won their last game in the stadium, 14-0 over the St. Louis Cardinals on December 8, 1974.

As the site of the Super Bowl

Tulane Stadium was the site of Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl IX. Super Bowl IX was the last professional league game ever played at the stadium.

Tom Dempsey's 63-yard field goal

Aside from the various bowls, the most memorable moment at the stadium might have been the Saints victory over the Detroit Lions on November 8, 1970. Prior to 1974, in the NFL the goal posts were on the goal line instead of the end line. With seconds remaining, the Saints attempted a place kick with the holder spotting at the Saints' own 37 yard line. Kicker Tom Dempsey nailed the 63-yard field goal with a couple of feet to spare, and the Saints won the game 19-17, one of only two games the Saints won that year. That record would stand alone for 28 years before it was tied by Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos.

Usage following the opening of the Louisiana Superdome

In 1975, the day the new Louisiana Superdome was opened, Tulane Stadium was condemned. Upon appeal by the University, the older concrete and brick section was deemed fit to use, but not the newer metal seating section. The stadium then continued in more limited use for five years with the smaller seating area, used for football practice, high-school games, and other smaller events. The Denver Broncos used Tulane Stadium as its practice facility prior to Super Bowl XII, the first Super Bowl played in the Superdome.

Tulane Stadium's final game

The last game played in the stadium was a game between New Orleans Catholic League rivals De La Salle High School, located less than two miles from the Tulane campus, and Archbishop Rummel High on November 1,1979. The last point scored in Tulane Stadium History was by Rummel High place kicker Gary Boudreaux.


On November 2, 1979, Tulane President Sheldon Hackney announced that the stadium would be demolished. The demolition started on November 18, 1979 and ended in 1980. The site is currently home to the Aron and Willow student housing complexes, the Diboll parking structure, the Reily Student Fitness Center and Brown Quad, a Fieldturf quad that roughly occupies the site of the football field.

Tulane Stadium was the first stadium which hosted a Super Bowl to be demolished. (Tampa Stadium was the second in 1999, Stanford Stadium followed in 2005 with a new stadium built in its place, and the Miami Orange Bowl was torn down in 2008.)


succession box
title = Home of the
Tulane Green Wave
years = 1926 – 1974
before = "Second" Tulane Stadium [http://www.tulane.edu/~alumni/potpourri/VIIF.pdf Tulane Stadium History] ]
after = Louisiana Superdome
succession box
title = Home of the
Sugar Bowl
years = 1935 – 1974
before = first stadium
after = Louisiana Superdome
succession box
title = Home of the
New Orleans Saints
years = 1967 – 1974
before = first stadium
after = Louisiana Superdome
succession box
title = Host of the Super Bowl
years = IV 1970
VI 1972
IX 1975
before = Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Rice Stadium
after = Orange Bowl
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Orange Bowl

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