Tulane's new on-campus stadium will be named Yulman Stadium announced President Scott Cowen today.
The new on-campus stadium name will recognize the generosity of Richard and Janet Yulman says Tulane Spokesman Mike Strecker. Richard Yulman is the retired chairman and owner of mattress manufacturing giant Serta International as well as a member of the Board of Tulane, the university's main governing body. Yulman donated $15 million toward construction of the $55 million facility, which will open in time for the 2014 football season.
The Yulman family wanted to make a transformative gift Cowen said at today's news conference. "Their investment in the new stadium, by providing a home field advantage for the football program, along with recreational opportunities for the Tulane student body and members of the community, will signal a metamorphosis in Tulane Athletics," according to Strecker.
At today's news conference, the university also announced two additional major gifts to the stadium project.
The new football field will be named Benson Field after New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle, who donated $7.5 million to the project.
In 2010, after 25 years of Tom Benson's leadership, the New Orleans Saints' first-ever Super Bowl victory became a symbol of the city's rebirth after Hurricane Katrina. Now, the Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation is providing the naming gift for Benson Field, which will inspire and unite the university community in the same way the Saints' win did for New Orleans two years ago.
The Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Family Club will be the club space for premium ticket holders. Tulane alumna Jill is a member of the university's board and Avram (Avie) is a member of the university's President's Council. The Glazers supported the project with a multi-million dollar gift.
The Glazers have been actively involved in every recent major campaign undertaken by the university.
"The new stadium will revitalize our football program and be a tremendous asset for our entire community. It is a testament to Tulane's place in New Orleans and nationally when the members of your board and one of the city's greatest business and civic leaders join together to make this dream a reality," said Cowen. "The entire Tulane family thanks them, as well as the hundreds of other donors, for their commitment to our athletics department, university and community."
To date, the university has raised $45 million of the $55 million needed to construct the stadium, which will have 25,000 seats, and a total capacity of 30,000. Tulane is raising the money through private donations via the Home Field Advantage campaign.
In addition to being used for Tulane football practice almost year-round, as well as other university recreational and academic activities, Strecker says "The stadium will provide a beautiful on-campus venue for fans to experience Division I football in New Orleans at least six times a year. It will also provide an opportunity for local high school fans to view an occasional game at Yulman Stadium."