Feb 142017

City Park (Tad Gormley) Stadium, circa 1938

2017 marks the 80th anniversary of Tad Gormley Stadium. The iconic City Park stadium, designed in the shape of a horseshoe, was completed in the fall of 1937 during the Works Progress Administration. From the Beatles concert, to the 1992 Olympic Track and Field Trials, to the thousands of high school games, Tad Gormley Stadium has hosted a remarkable variety of entertainment for the people of New Orleans.

Today, the Stadium is the home site to over 85 high school football, track and field, and soccer games. More than 25,000 people, ages youth to adult, use Tad Gormley on a yearly basis for sports and sports-related activities. Not only has the Stadium been home to a wide range of local sports, but it has served as a practice site for NFL teams, such as the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, while the teams were in town to play the Saints. In addition to the NFL, it has been the host site for International Soccer Exhibitions for teams from Central and South America.

Throughout the years, the Stadium has been host to many other historical happenings outside of sporting events. Most notably, The Beatles played their only New Orleans concert at Tad Gormley in 1964. Many other artists have also held concerts, including Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper, and Fleetwood Mac. In addition, one of the largest events in City Park history, was in 1938 when the eighth National Eucharistic Congress was held in the Stadium over a four-day period. On the first day alone, nearly 70,000 worshippers jammed the stadium seats and field.

The field has endured since its last refurbishment eight years ago, but it is now due for a repair. On March 10, 2017, Friends of City Park, along with co-chairs Aimée Gowland and Corrie Pellerin, will host its premier fundraiser, Lark in the Park, on the field of Tad Gormley Stadium to raise proceeds for the refurbishment. The evening under the stadium lights will honor The Jerry Romig Family. “Our parents were (our) original ‘introducers’ to this vast acreage of play and excitement in City Park,” said Mark Romig, son of Jerry and Janice Romig and loyal Friend of City Park. “Coming of age years were gloriously spent on Friday and Saturday nights enjoying football at Tad Gormley Stadium.”

VIP guests will have the opportunity to kick off the night with an exclusive preview party from 7:00-8:00 PM with exquisite cuisine from Willa Jean. The main event, which includes live entertainment by The Walrus, a Beatles cover band, and DJ Ann Glaviano – HEATWAVE!, will feature a live and silent auction, car raffle from Bryan Subaru, jewelry raffle from Lee Michaels Fine Jewelers, cuisine from 40 of New Orleans’ top restaurants, and premium libations!

For tickets and more information on Friends of City Park and Lark in the Park please visit www.friendsofcitypark.com or call 504-483-9376.

Explore City Park is brought to you by Friends of City Park, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising funds for capital improvement projects in City Park, in partnership with Mid-City Messenger.

Are you interested in other areas of the park or general park history? Let us know what you are interested in and it could be our next tour! Email Friends Executive Director, Casie Duplechain, at cduplechain@friendsofcitypark.com with any interests that you may have!

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