Construction at Tulane's new stadium running on schedule

Tulane Executive Vice President Yvette Jones says crews this week will finish the job of pile driving for the new Yulman Stadium and move to the next step.

"The foundation is being poured now and very soon you'll see steel structures coming out of the ground," Jones says. "Very soon people will really know it's a stadium."

The first thing people will notice from outside the construction zone on the street is the light poles.

"In about two weeks they'll start standing the light poles up. They'll be about 125 feet in the air," explains Riley Gautreaux, project superintendent.

Next will come the press box and stadium seats. Neighbors and students can expect to see stands and walls going up in August, according to Gautreaux: "We're going to start in the north end zone with the stands and work all the way around into the south end zone. And at the same time we'll be erecting the steel on the home team side."

Yulman's price tag now stands at $70 million - all funded by donations. Jones says Tulane has 75 percent of the money in hand and expects to lock down two more big gifts by the end of this month.

Green Wave fans and supporters have been willing to open their wallets to ensure the university finally gets back something it hasn't had since the old Tulane Stadium closed in 1974: an on-campus football experience.

"It's really an iconic facility for us because it really means coming home, and bringing back a program that hasn't played on campus for almost 40 years by the time it opens," says Jones.

Contractors expect to be finished with the state-of-the-art stadium July 2014, in plenty of time for football season.