NEW ORLEANS -- It's been nearly four decades since high-school football was played at Tulane University, but the Friday night lights will burn bright once again as Yulman Stadium hosts its first prep game this fall.
The first match-up at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8 will see St. Augusutine face off against De Le Salle. A second game is not yet set.
“Part of our initial mission when Yulman Stadium was conceived was what we were going to serve here besides Tulane football. And one of the things that obviously was a natural fit was high-school football,” said Chris Maitre, Tulane’s senior associate athletic director.
The Purple Knights-Cavaliers game was spurred into being after St. Aug leaders approached Tulane about hosting their spring scrimmage.
“It was a natural fit for us to bring them back for another game” Maitre said.
Kenneth St. Charles, St. Aug’s president, said the school is “honored” to host its game against De La Salle at Yulman.
“The facility is a world-class stadium that will provide our student-athletes and loyal fans with an unforgettable sporting experience," St. Charles said.
"This is going to be a great experience for our players, students, and parents,” added Barret Rey, St. Aug’s athletic director.
The last prep football game played on the campus was Nov. 3, 1979, when the Chalmette High School Owls defeated the Jesuit Blue Jays 29-3 in a Catholic League match-up that marked the final game at the old Tulane Stadium, a mammoth structure sandwiched amid quaint houses that could seat nearly 81,000 spectators by the time demolition wrapped in June 1980.
Football returned to Tulane’s campus from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when the 30,000-seat Yulman Stadium opened in 2014.
“This was one of those natural evolutions for us,” Maitre said.
Tulane officials hope the prep games in the new stadium might serve as an ambassador for the university and serve as something of a recruiting tool.