Sept. 8, 2005
DALLAS, Texas - The Tulane Green Wave football team, displaced from its hometown of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, will make its 2005 debut on Saturday, Sept. 17 in Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La., Tulane, Conference USA and Shreveport officials announced Thursday. The game, versus SEC foe Mississippi State, will be nationally-televised beginning at 7 p.m. by College Sports Television.
"This is the first step and a significant event in the healing process for our Tulane athletics community, our university, our city and all those affected throughout the Gulf South," said Tulane Director of Athletics Rick Dickson. "We're very pleased to be able to announce this today and I am very appreciative of all those involved from the city of Shreveport, from Independence Stadium and from Mississippi State."
Following its evacuation from New Orleans on Sunday, August 28, the Tulane football team went to Jackson, Miss., where it rode out the storm in a gym at Jackson State University, before making its way to Dallas, where the team has been practicing since last Wednesday. Tulane spent the past week arranging for its student-athletes across all sports to be placed in universities throughout Texas, as well as at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., where the Green Wave football players will be attending classes and practicing.
"This game is important in our efforts to rebuild and maintain some stability and normalcy for our student athletes and staff," said Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson. "Once we were given the charge by our president to carry the torch, be the face and represent the name of Tulane University, then the step-by-step process of putting our programs and student athletes and coaches in place took precedence. Now, the ability to compete will be symbolic. I am very proud of all of them and of everyone that is making this come together."
The City of Shreveport and the Independence Stadium staff will run the operations of the game with assistance from Conference USA and the Tulane athletics staff.
"The City of Shreveport is happy to be in a position to assist Tulane during this very trying time," said Mayor Keith Hightower. "We are encouraging our citizens to support the Green Wave by attending the game, and are asking our corporate citizens to help offset the loss of home game revenues in New Orleans."
Tickets for the game are $35 for sideline general admission seats and $20 for end zone general admission and will be sold via Ticketmaster at www.Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-488-5252 or at Ticketmaster outlets in Louisiana and Mississippi. Tickets will go on sale Friday at Noon.
Tulane season ticket holders that have not received their tickets and will be attending the game should notify the Green Wave athletic department via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mississippi State Athletics also announced that it would waive its $200,000 game guarantee and encourage its fans who have already purchased tickets but cannot attend the game to forego a refund and have the cost of their ticket donated to Tulane Athletics.
"We fully understand the terrific strain Tulane University has been under in coping with this tragedy," said MSU Director of Athletics Larry Templeton. "We are doing everything we can to assist Tulane in its hurricane recovery efforts."
"We are thankful to the great people of Shreveport for their support," said Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky, who has worked closely with Dickson, Templeton and local officials to arrange the game. "We know it is going to be an awesome event."
Both CSTV: College Sports Television and the i Network (formerly PAX) will air the Tulane - Mississippi State game live from Shreveport, and the company has announced that all commercial proceeds are being donated to specially created funds focused on restoring the area. Monies will be divided between Conference USA's Relief Fund and CSTV's Field & Dreams Rebuilding Fund. The evening's programming, being called "The Big Game for the Big Easy," will include specially produced features and entertainment elements designed to share the stories of the hope and rebirth of the region.
-- Roll Wave --
The Fields & Dreams Foundation was established by CSTV Networks , in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, to help underserved elementary and junior high school students improve social, academic and personal development through organized sports. The foundation Chairman is Former U.S. Senator and basketball legend Bill Bradley. The Rebuilding Fund will focus on restoring athletic programs and rebuilding facilities in those areas of the country affected by Hurricane Katrina.