As football season nears, work on Tulane's Yulman Stadium hits final stretch

Inside Tulane University's brand new Yulman Stadium
Inside Tulane University's brand new Yulman Stadium

Inside Tulane University's brand new Yulman Stadium, sounds of workers racing to the finish filled the air.

They're in the final stages of work on the $73 million venue, just a few weeks before the Green Wave take on Georgia Tech in the September 6 home opener.

"[We're working] six to seven days a week in the last stretch here, mainly doing a lot of the interior work, quiet work, finishing up the painting and flooring and carpeting," said Ken Flower, Vice President of Woodward Design + Build, the stadium contractor.

Friday, crews were scheduled to begin installing the synthetic turf field, but heavy rains postponed that step. However, Flower said most of the heavy lifting is complete.

Yulman Stadium is nestled snugly between several on-campus building and a neighboring residential area. Flower said fitting the structure into such a tight space was challenging.

"We've had to be a little bit innovative, in terms of pre-fabricating a lot of materials and systems off site, bringing them in so we could minimize the impact, the amount of workers on site," he said.

Construction began in January 2013. Now, the venue has fully taken shape. Among the amenities, it will feature multiple interior lounges, private viewing decks and seating on all sides of the field – a return to the 'bowl' look of the old Tulane Stadium.

Officials said with seating and standing room areas combined, capacity will be 30,000.

The centerpiece is the stadium's East Side.

"The upper deck is an outdoor environment, the Westfeldt Club, seat backs, food and drink and then the lower bowl is the Glazer Club, which is an air conditioning club level environment," Flower said. "I think it's going to be a great intimate type stadium, perfect size for Tulane University."

It ushers in a new era for Tulane, a new chapter of on-campus football.

The Green Wave last took the field for an on-campus game in November 1974, a 26-10 loss to Ole Miss.

Hopes are high that this sparkling new stadium will elevate the game day atmosphere to entirely new levels, thus creating a true home field advantage.

University officials said they've sold more than three times the amount of season tickets compared to last year. Fewer than 5,000 season tickets remain.

"The atmosphere will be crazy," said Trevante Drye, a Tulane senior from Baton Rouge.

Grad student Chad Detweiler agreed.

"The team is definitely improved and I think that the new stadium is going to draw a whole new crowd of people and put Tulane football back on the map."

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