New Orleans Mayor Mitch Ladrieu and Tulane University have signed an agreement that outlines the use and operation of Yulman Stadium.

The new on-campus stadium, scheduled to open in 2014, has caused much debate but Tulane President Scott Cowen is pleased the agreement has been sealed.

"This has been a long process, which involved compromise and patience among all the parties concerned. We thank and appreciate the work of Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his staff to bring the process to closure," Cowen said.

"We now begin an exciting era for Tulane, and for the City of New Orleans as well. All of us will enjoy a beautiful football and recreational facility, plus our city will have the economic benefit that comes from the construction and operation of a $60million stadium."

Tulane Athletics Director Rick Dickson echoed Cowen's enthusiasm: "The Green Wave will have the home field advantage that we have missed for the last 35 years and our friends, fans and neighbours will have the chance to experience a first-class collegiate football experience on Tulane's beautiful campus."

With the signed agreement came the green light for construction of the new facility. Soon after the signing, Tulane got its first permits, which will allow the start of demolition of the current site.

Stadium contractor Woodward Design Build will begin taking down the practice field bleachers, the scoreboard and the tennis court stands, and will remove the turf and track around the existing practice field.

Woodward may also begin the removal and relocation of underground utilities and sidewalks in the stadium footprint this week.

Groundbreaking and pile driving are set to start in late February.

Posted on 30/01/2013