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Official Review by Travis Thornell, Stadium Journey Guest Correspondent
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a monument of football, but maybe not college football. The venue has hosted Super Bowls and the annual Sugar Bowl. Tulane Football has not lived up to the reputation of their NFL counterpart, the New Orleans Saints, and it showed as I watched a Thursday Night game between the Green Wave and the Houston Cougars. This was Senior Night for Tulane and the pregame festivities were in remembrance of Veteran's Day.
I was well aware that Tulane has had a rough season, but they played in front of more Houston fans than their own green and white. As I talked to several Tulane supporters, they informed me that there were increasing talks of getting a stadium near their campus. This would help the program immensely. Watching players play in front of 5,000 people in a 60,000 plus stadium is far from an enjoyable experience.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Superdome offered a good assortment of options for food. The typical burger, hot dog, and pizza concession stands are all there. Alcohol prices are a little higher than usual. There are mixed drinks to go along with draught beers. A plus was that there is a stand that sold some Creole and Cajun food.
The atmosphere was very dull and the stadium was a quarter filled at best. The renovations of the Superdome might have a lot of to do with this. The new seats might be a little too comfortable to stand up and cheer, especially when the team puts forth an uninspiring performance. The quietness of the game made it feel like you were just watching the game on HD television. The Tulane Marching Band was enjoyable and played unique tunes and the dance team was quite entertaining to watch as the game got out of hand in the second half.
Two words. New Orleans. Bars and restaurants are located everywhere. A few blocks from the stadium, there is a great restaurant called Walk-Ons Bistreaux and Bar. They offer a great selection of reasonably priced food from burgers and pastas to salads and wraps.
New Orleans also boasts the French Quarter which is littered with everything you can possible want to get into. There are many world renowned bars with world class drinks like the Hurricane and the Hand Grenade. After the bar hopping, make sure you stop by CafÃ© Du Monde and grab some beignets and coffee to complete the NOLA trip.
The Thursday night game, plus Senior night should have garnered more support. There were more opposing fans there than any Tulane supporters. It was puzzling to see a weak student section of about 50 or so college kids. There was no intimidation factor for the opposing team. It had a feel of being a home game for the opposing team as there was a ratio of 2 Houston fans for every Tulane fan present.
Parking in the parking garages near the stadium are the safest and easiest option, and costs $10. There are some lots near the stadium that are five dollars, but zero security is present. You may consider parking closer to downtown if you don't mind a bit of a walk. Bathrooms are plentiful and are extremely nice.
This experience was based on watching football in the city of New Orleans. In reality, the football does not come near to the city. Overall, you could save the money from the game and have a great time on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.
The city of New Orleans is the star here, and always worth an extra point. If you want to experience the Merecedes-Benz Superdome, then your best bet is to go to the Sugar Bowl or a Saints home game.
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