sports and recreation

City Park to plan Tad Gormley Stadium’s 80th anniversary celebration, explore more uses for space

Photos of Tad Gormley Stadium. The left photo shows post Katrina damage, the right shows the area in its present state. (photo by Alicia Serrano, MidCityMessenger.com)
Photos of Tad Gormley Stadium. The left photo shows post Katrina damage, the right shows the area in its present state. (photo by Alicia Serrano, MidCityMessenger.com)

The City Park staff announced at their board meeting on Tuesday, June 28, that they are looking into ways to celebrate the Tad Gormley Stadium’s 80th Anniversary in 2017 and considering ideas to further use the space. The New Orleans stadium opened in 1937, and repairs made to the stadium are deteriorating after its renovation in 2006.

City Park CEO Bob Becker acknowledged the history of performers, athletes, and more that have appeared in the Tad Gormley stadium, and Tony Biagas, Athetlic Service Director of City Park for the past 15 years, said celebrating the stadium will likely honor some of those people, when plans are finalized.

Becker said during their board meeting that they are seeking opportunities to raise funds to support the Tad Gormley Stadium’s repairs. One of the ideas Becker said the staff would explore is providing space for drone racing because its popularity is on the rise.

Biagas said that his athletic department is looking to repurpose the stadium and move away from it being used from strictly football and soccer. In his presentation to the City Park board, he shared that the stadium had recently been used to host a little girl’s birthday party because she loves football.

The stadium previously provided an avenue for music by hosting the two-day Roots Reggae Culture Festival on June 18 and 19.

“It’s an excellent area for a concert,” Biagas said.

Biagas noted that the attendance for the concert was low, but there are opportunities for the stadium with its 8,000 seating capacity.

In order to host more sport events in City Park’s fields, which Biagas said are constantly in demand, Becker suggested that the park lessen its field maintenance workload by using synthetic fields. Turf lasts around 8 years, according to Biagas.

“It would help to convert more of our fields to artificial fields,” said Becker.

Biagas said the cost for new turf in the Tad Gormley Stadium is around $361,000.

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