June 30, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, La. - In another sign of New Orleans' recovery from Hurricane Katrina, Tulane University announced today the resumption of a major expansion and renovation of Turchin Stadium, home of the national powerhouse Green Wave baseball team.
The $7.5 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. Suites will be sold on multi-year leases and will be accessible via elevator, which will also provide access to the press box. For the first time, the press box will include individual broadcast booths, Ethernet capability and expanded space for the print media.
Tulane spent $1.5 million on the project prior to Katrina. Preliminary construction on the restarted phase has already begun and the expansion will be completed by the opening of the 2007 baseball season.
"In the aftermath of Katrina, Tulane student-athletes came to symbolize the character and determination of Tulane University and the people of New Orleans to not only recover but to thrive," Tulane University President Scott Cowen said. "This project is both a symbol and substance of that determination."
Cowen emphasized that the project needs continued support from Green Wave donors in order to bring it to completion. A "Fan Plaza" extending from the doors of the Wilson Center to the gates of Turchin Stadium will provide the opportunity for fans to become a part of the new stadium by purchasing a brick inscribed with the donor's name.
"This project represents the tremendous support the Green Wave baseball team enjoys in the city and region. Rick Jones and his staff have built a world-class program and now they will have a world-class arena in which to play," Tulane Director of Athletics Rick Dickson said.
Under Jones, the Green Wave have posted a 566-260-1 record, winning four C-USA regular-season titles, a Metro Conference Tournament and five C-USA Tourney crowns. They have earned 11 trips to the NCAA postseason and advanced to a pair of College World Series.
"This is something our program needed, especially after the way our kids handled last year. It is a reward for them, and something I believe will keep our momentum going for many years," head baseball coach Rick Jones said. "It's going to be great for the fans. This is not a renovated Turchin, this is going to be a new Turchin.
"Having seen the drawings, it's going to have great site lines, great amenities and should provide a great game-day experience. Knowing the challenges the university has had over the last nine or 10 months, to keep this project on the table speaks volumes of the commitment to our program and I am very indebted to that."
Originally constructed in 1991 thanks to a sizable donation by Robert and Lilian Turchin, Turchin Stadium has been home to the Green Wave baseball program for the majority of the last 16 years. The on-campus facility has hosted a pair of conference tournaments and two NCAA Regionals. In addition, Turchin Stadium was the site of the 2005 NCAA Super Regional where Tulane defeated Rice two games to one to advance to it second College World Series in the last five seasons.
Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects of New Orleans designed the new stadium. The builders are Carl E. Woodward, LLC of New Orleans and the Dant Clayton Corporation of Louisville, Ky.