The first publicly available tickets to Tulane’s Yulman Stadium went on sale Friday.
The Green Wave’s new on-campus home field, currently under construction and set to host Tulane football starting in 2014, will feature premium seating and a luxury viewing experience in the Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Family Club.
It doesn’t come cheaply.
A spot in Yulman Stadium’s most prestigious place requires a membership in the Medallion Circle, which entails a $100,000 donation spread out over five years. Half of the gift goes to the Tulane Athletics Fund, and the other is designated for the Stadium Fund.
On top of the donation, each season ticket in the section costs $300 in 2014, with ticket prices subject to change in future years. Medallion members can purchase up to six tickets. There are approximately 600 seats in the section, and Athletic Director Rick Dickson estimated 40 percent already have been sold.
“We’ve had a really good response so far, and the people we’ve interacted with have been eager to help us and are excited to be a part of this,” Dickson said. “We’ve been around the country and seen what some other places are doing, and we are taking those ideas and bringing our own and making sure every detail of this right for us and our contributors.”
Premium seating is a newfound source of revenue at Tulane as it moves back on to campus. The team is leaving behind the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which the school has leased for its home games since 1975.
Entrance in the Glazer Club includes a variety of perks, including complimentary on-campus parking, a hospitality tent in the tailgating village and an air conditioned room to view the game that contains free specialty food, beer and wine.
To preview the experience, Tulane’s marketing team transformed the Wilson Center’s Hall of Fame room into a replica of the Glazer Club, equipped with a foyer, stadium seats, a presentation video and conference table.
“We can offer stuff like this we were never able to before, and we want to show our fans what it can be like,” executive associate athletic director Brandon MacNeill said. “This is going to dramatically alter our revenue streams, which in the Dome were practically nothing. We will now be able to generate so many more dollars that can be put back into the program.”
While the Medallion Circle is the first and priciest unveiling of ticket plans in Yulman Stadium, Tulane officials insist much of the stadium will be affordable for the average Green Wave fan — and won’t require an annual donation. To ensure longtime fans’ place in the stadium, Tulane introduced a priority points plan this summer and rewarded veteran season-ticket holders by guaranteeing all current football ticket holders the option to purchase tickets in Yulman.
Still, there is skepticism that, with the smaller supply of seats, prices will skyrocket. Green Wave season tickets currently can be purchased for as little as $100.
“This is a family ticket, and we want it to be a family atmosphere,” said Mary Hoffman, director of the Tulane Athletics Fund. “We’ve seen Saints tickets become harder and harder for families, and we are hoping that our product on the field and in the stadium is going to be attractive and affordable enough for people to bring their family to the game and have those experiences with us.”
The stadium’s capacity has not been nailed down, but Dickson said he expected it to finish around 28,000 to 30,000 seats, with additional room for standing patrons on party decks. Below-ground aspects of the construction have been completed, and pieces of the façade are in place.
Now it’s up to Tulane to fill it.
“This is ours; it belongs to Tulane,” said Jason Potuto, assistant athletic director for marketing and event sales. “It completely alters how we generate revenue and determine expenses, and we have to be set up so we’re ready for anything. ... We are ready to go.”