Photo courtesy of Tulane Athletics
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
Yulman Stadium Ben Weiner Dr New Orleans, LA 70118
Year Opened: 2014 Capacity: 30,000
Waving At Yulman Stadium
New Orleans has long been known as a party town, a foodie’s heaven, and a jazz lover’s nirvana. It is quickly becoming a sports town as well, with the Saints, Pelicans, and the Tulane all on the upswing. Tulane has gone to bowl games for three years straight… a first in the school’s history.
Tulane is a private university located in the Uptown New Orleans neighborhood, near to the Garden District, located 3.5 miles from the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. It was founded in 1834 and today more than 14,000 students take classes on its lovely tree-lined campus. The sports teams are known as the Green Wave, made famous by a song that appeared in the Tulane student newspaper back in the 1920s. Since it is impossible to depict a wave as a mascot, Tulane has Riptide the Pelican to roam its sidelines. The pelican is the state bird for Louisiana.
Tulane football games returned to the campus in 2014, after playing for 40 seasons at the Superdome. Tulane’s original on-campus football stadium was Tulane Stadium, informally known as the “Sugar Bowl,” which held more than 80,000 fans and served the school from 1925- 1974. It also served as the site for the Sugar Bowl postseason bowl game. It was torn down in 1975 and replaced by student housing. Tulane has a long history in football as it first fielded a team in 1893.
Tulane’s present stadium, Yulman Stadium, opened in 2014 with a capacity of 30,000. Richard Yulman, a Tulane alumnus, donated $15 million towards its construction cost. Tom Benson, the late owner of the New Orleans Saints, also contributed $7.5 million to the building of the facility and the playing field bears his name. Tulane is a member of the American Athletic Conference, which includes teams like SMU, Memphis, UCF, and Cincinnati.
Food & Beverage 5
New Orleans is very proud of its reputation as one of the gastronomic capitals of the U.S., if not the world. This is quite evident in the food available at Yulman Stadium. The Glazer Family Club has its own menu for the more monied alumnus of the school, but students and the general public are not slighted in the offerings at the Tailgate Village, Athletes Plaza, or inside the stadium. The concessions goal at Yulman Stadium is to “provide game fare, with a focus on local specialty flavors.” This means you will have an opportunity to enjoy dishes including fried chicken with Louisiana Pepper Butter Sauce, Petit Po’Boy sandwiches, red beans and sausage with white rice, and mini muffulettas or crawfish meat nachos. In addition, Yulman Stadium does allow the sale of alcoholic beverages. Choices include both domestic, craft, and international beers, as well as wine.
Of course, if you want a hot dog and a Coke… that is available as well.
Yulman Stadium provides fans with a much more intimate atmosphere than was possible at either the Sugar Bowl or the Superdome. The stadium’s capacity of 30,000 was necessary as neighborhoods have replaced the open fields that existed in earlier times. In order to be a good neighbor, the stadium is designed as a low-profile structure so that it does not tower over the surrounding residential streets. Special lighting standards were followed so that the neighborhoods were not impacted by the tremendous lighting towers found at most stadiums.
The venue offers several unique features designed to please the deep-pocketed alums as well as members of the public and the student body. The top of the line Glazer Family Club features 1,500 chairback seats with two club rooms that overlook the 50-yard line. Membership in this area of the stadium includes a sports bar and an enhanced menu of food on the buffet. The Westfeldt Terrace is a roof-protected open-air section with 3,000 seatbacks which provides a panoramic view of downtown New Orleans. There are also party decks that are open to anyone with a ticket. The outside of Yulman Stadium features the Athlete’s Plaza, which hosts both pre and post-game celebrations with music provided by a live jazz band.
Tulane is located in the Garden District of New Orleans. It is known for its beautiful houses, which typically have courtyards filled with beautiful gardens. Many of these homes are available for tours. Another major attraction in the Garden District is the Audubon Park and Zoo. This is the New Orleans version of Central Park and is well worth the visit. There are numerous art galleries in the area as well as many smaller restaurants.
The return to campus has resulted in the rebirth of the Tulane football fan. It has allowed students, alumni, and parents to gather together for a day-long social celebration followed by the football game. This has resulted in increased interest in the program and a sea of green, blue, and white in the stands, instead of empty seats.
Fans begin a game day more than four hours before kickoff under a sea of tents known as the Tailgate Village, The Village is located on the Newcomb and Berger Family Lawns (actually quads on the tree-covered campus). Set-ups can be as plain or as fancy as a group wants them to be. We’ve been to The Grove at Ole Miss, and take it from us, the Tulane tailgate experience is in the same league.
In addition to eating, drinking, and just enjoying each other’s company, Tulane provides plenty of amenities. The Tulane band stops by to serenade you. Local jazz bands play a set, the cheer squad leads some warmup cheers to build spirit and there is a family fun zone for the kids. A team store is also on-site to provide you with whatever Green Wave spirit supplies you may need. There is usually a theme to each game (i.e., Kids day, senior day, homecoming, etc.).
Parking is quite limited on the Tulane campus, and game day parking is prohibited on the neighborhood streets around the campus. Tulane has set up a system utilizing the parking lots at surrounding schools, churches, shopping centers, and private businesses with a free shuttle service providing rides to and from the campus on game days. This serves as a fundraiser for the sites providing parking and helps maintain good relationships between the neighborhoods and the school.
If you are not toting a lot of tailgating supplies with you, a great New Orleans way to get to the game is via the St. Charles Streetcar. This allows you to view the many beautiful homes in the Midtown and Garden Districts as you make the trip from downtown New Orleans to the campus. The streetcar has a stop located directly in front of the Tulane campus and costs only $1.25 (correct change only) each way. After the game, you can stay on the streetcar on your return trip to check out other New Orleans hot spots like the Riverwalk and Bourbon Street.
Return on Investment 3
New Orleans is a city that is heavily dependent on tourism, and as a result, it can be an expensive place to visit. Many B&Bs in the Garden District will have much less expensive rates than a downtown hotel would charge. Use public transportation to reach most of the big tourist attractions and save a bundle on parking. Museums in New Orleans are quite unique and often are free or have lower costs than other tourist attractions.
The Tulane aspects of ROI are quite reasonable. With the exception of the Yulman Club seats, tickets are not expensive. Tickets behind the end zones are $5. If you want to sit on the side at the goal line, expect to pay $10. Tickets between the 40’s on the visitor’s side go for $35. The tickets on the home side of the field are predominately for season ticket holders. However, you can find upper deck seats on that side for $50 or you can splurge and pay $200 for lower-level seats.
Parking varies from $10-$25 for lots surrounding the Tulane campus. The closer to campus, the more you will pay for parking.
During the 2021 football season, proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test is required for admission.
Tulane has revived an old tradition in covering the end zones with a green and white checkerboard design. This was one of the original elements the old Sugar Bowl Stadium was known for.
Tulane games, especially early in the season, are held in the evening in order to beat the heat. This allows you plenty of time to visit the sites around the New Orleans area. Check out the Jax Brewery, Jackson Square, Mardi Gras World across the Mississippi River and then stop off at Café du Monde for one of their fabulous beignets.
New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the USA, with a decidedly European feel. A visit to a Tulane football game and the Garden District is a great way to get a feel for the sports side of the city. However, you are really cheating yourself if you come only for a game. Immerse yourself in all that New Orleans has to offer… you will feel it is money well spent.Laissez les bon temps roler!