April 5, 2007
New Orleans - Tulane University announced today that the rebuilding of Turchin Stadium, the home field of the Green Wave's nationally ranked baseball team, will not be completed for the 2007 spring season and Tulane will not serve as the host site for the 2007 Conference USA Tournament this May.
Delays in the completion of the state-of-the art stadium were due to a combination of inclement weather this past winter, design alterations and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The stadium is currently scheduled for completion this summer.
"Although we are disappointed with today's news in regards to this season, we remain upbeat and confident that we will soon occupy one of the finest collegiate baseball facilities in the country," Tulane Director of Athletics Rick Dickson said. "I'm confident our stadium donors understand this and am hopeful that all of our fans will join us in supporting our student-athletes who have overcome the hardships of being displaced these past two seasons."
"There are times when things do not work out the way we want them to," head baseball coach Rick Jones said. "The contractors, as well as our administration, did everything in their power to make the stadium happen on time. It is disappointing for me, and I feel even worse for our six seniors."
"I hope all of our fans and the entire Tulane community will rally around our seniors and continue to support our team during the remainder of our home games," Jones added.
With the stadium unable to host regular season games, Tulane must also relinquish the host role for the 2007 C-USA Baseball Tournament, which was expected to be held at Turchin Stadium, May, 23-27.
"We were disappointed to learn that Turchin Stadium will not be ready to host the 2007 C-USA Baseball Championship, since we expect it will be one of the finest college baseball facilities in the country when it is completed," said Commissioner Britton Banowsky. "We are committed to bringing future conference events to Tulane and the New Orleans community. However, for 2007, we will immediately begin the process of determining an alternative site. Fortunately, we have several outstanding college baseball venues within Conference USA."
Renovations to Turchin Stadium began at the conclusion of the 2005 season and were originally scheduled to be completed in time for the 2006 campaign, but the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to the New Orleans area caused a 10-month delay in the project.
On June 30, 2006, the University announced it was restarting the expansion. Construction was re-launched on August 8th with the demolition of the remaining stands, and the stadium was slated to open in April 2007.
However, continued weather delays this past January pushed the project back and despite the best effort of construction crews the stadium will be unplayable during the 2007 spring season.
"The biggest reason Turchin Stadium will not be available this season is that as of Monday of this week, we've had 30 rain days since we started construction of the stadium in the second week of January," said Richard Jones, Senior Associate Vice President, Capital Projects. "This is an outside project and when it rains it takes two days to dry out enough for us to go back to work."
Through our best efforts we couldn't overcome the weather-related delays despite the fact we've been working overtime for the last month."
The $10.3 million project will feature a grandstand design of structural steel, a new playing surface and an increase in seating from 3,000 to a maximum 5,000 seats. The project will also increase the number of chair-back seats in the stadium from 900 to 2,600 and add private suites, a covered club seating area and a new press box. Updated netting and sound systems, a new outfield wall, new concession stands, new restrooms and an expanded merchandise sales area will also be included.
Club seating behind home plate will be covered and will include access to an open-air breezeway at the top of those sections. Four private suites will flank the breezeway on the first-base line and will include air conditioning and restrooms.
In cooperation with the New Orleans Zephyrs, Tulane will play all of its remaining home dates at Zephyr Field. The following is a listing of updated game times:
Date Day Opponent Time April 17 Tues. Northwestern State Noon April 20 Fri. Houston Noon (CSTV) April 21 Sat. Houston 6:30 p.m. April 22 Sun. Houston 1:00 p.m. April 25 Wed. Nicholls State 6:30 p.m. May 1 Tues. UNO 7:00 p.m. May 4 Fri. UAB Noon May 5 Sat. UAB Noon May 6 Sun. UAB Noon May 17 Thurs. Chicago State Noon May 18 Fri. Chicago State Noon May 19 Sat. Chicago State Noon
Tickets for the remainder of the season at Zephyr Field have been mailed to all season ticket holders along with information about the priority seating program and an exclusive upcoming Turchin Stadium Open House.