Tulane to host first public forum on controversial campus stadium

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 6:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 6 at 8:37 AM

WWLTV.com
Email: webteam@wwltv.com | Twitter: @WWLTV

NEW ORLEANS - The community gets its chance to see the latest plans for the new on-campus Tulane stadium on Wednesday at the first of three scheduled forums.

The school will share plans for traffic and parking management, design, stadium usage and game day operations.

“With the forums, Tulane is already taking a lot of consideration for its neighbors in its design - when you look at the height of the building and what they are doing in terms of the structure and lighting. But we’ll continue that process and hopefully it will work out where everyone can be happy,” said former Tulane football player James Ordenenaux.

The plans for the stadium have garnered some criticism from nearby residents who are worried about its impact on their neighborhood.

Christy Kane, with Save Our Neighborhood, said that the group is not anti-stadium, but “for smart growth and smart development.” However, she said the community should be concerned about:

  • “Parking…this is a very huge structure. Keep in mind, it’s 30,000 seats with room to grow, which means it’s 12,000 seats larger than the New Orleans arena. If you’ve ever been to an event to the arena, you understand there’s an infrastructure that has to be in place in order to support such a venue.
  • “We’re concerned about the location and the setback. It’s approximately 20 feet from residential homes. We don’t know of any other residential stadium in the country that has been shoehorned…into a residence and a neighborhood quite like this one has been.
  • “We’re also concerned about frequency of use. This is not about football. We support Tulane, we support their football program. It’s not about six games a year. As they said at the last community meeting, they’re going to have to pay for the seats somehow. So, there will be more and more events, I think.”

Ordenenaux said there are "well intentioned folks" who have legitimate concerns, and he has sympathy for this group because they are drowned out by a more vocal minority that is "dead-set" against the stadium.

"If you own a lake house, you don't object when your neighbor builds a dock for a ski boat...90 percent of the football-playing universities in America have on campus stadiums - you had one there before," Ordenenaux said.

In May, the New Orleans City Council passed a measure which paves the way for a study to possibly create an interim zoning district that could prohibit construction.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in Richardson Memorial Hall on Tulane's campus.

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