Officials Considering Replacing Grambling State University In Historic Bayou Classic

BY:  John “Hennry” Harris

Citing low attendance numbers at the annual Bayou Classic football game between Grambling State University and Southern University officials from the Mercedez-Benz Superdome have suggested that replacing Grambling State University may be the solution to raise the faltering gameday numbers.


gsu“If Grambling has fallen off that bad, maybe Southern could take the lead and it could be an earned-in game and bring in somebody else,” said Robert Bruno, the commissioner of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District. “I just don’t know if Grambling can carry the load.”

These comments echo the sentiments from Southern University System Board Member Tony Clayton made in December ofbayouclassicpics 2013:

“I understand the historic nature of playing Grambling … but having to split the proceeds after having the lion share of the fan base in the Superdome consistently coming from SU, just doesn’t make good economic sense,” Clayton wrote in his email. “The Bayou Classic is a numbers game, and our dear colleagues from north Louisiana just aren’t traveling down I-10 to watch the G-Men.”

bayoufootball2“For the last several years, Southern has been doing 90 percent of the work and producing 70 to 80 percent of the fans, and we’re having to split the proceeds,” Clayton said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

bayoufootballGrambling State University’s football team is the main reason the school has a national profile, but since Hurricane Katrina – and a history of reported mismanagement – signal larger problems.  The poor conditions of the weight room and facilities that have even caused the football team to boycott a game against Jackson State.  The school itself is suffering from a decreased attendance which directly affects funding for the school.

The 2013 Bayou Classic drew 47,385 attendees, the fifth lowest attendance number in the history of the game.

The Bayou Classic has featured the Grambling State University Tigers battling against the Southern University Jaguars since 1974, first held at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, LA.  The series itself began in 1936 and is unofficially known by patrons as the “Black Super Bowl”.

Since 1990 the game has been held the final Saturday in November at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with 2005 being the only year the organizers have moved the event which was due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

gsubandThis story really highlights how Hurricane Katrina is still effecting the lives of people in Louisiana.  It appears to me that the southernbandmain problem is with the Superdome, who doesn’t feel the game is a big enough draw.  One would think that for the sake of legacy and history, maybe the game should consider returning to Tulane Stadium or another venue, as opposed to stopping a tradition that has done so much for so many people at both schools.

BOSS Sports will bring you more coverage on the Bayou Classic as information is made available.

The next Bayou Classic will be held November 29, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

 

 

 

 

  • About The Author

    Follow John on Twitter @JohnHennry904 John "Hennry" Harris is a Sr. Editor at reason4rhymes.com and BOSS - brothersonsports.com

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