November 18, 2004 TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of LSU Athletics FROM: Skip Bertman, LSU Athletics Director Saturday night will mark the end of another home football season for the LSU Tigers, and it will also mark the end of a significant era for Tiger Stadium. This is the 81st season LSU has played in Tiger Stadium, and it is the last for the west upper deck that was constructed in 1978. Tiger Stadium opened with 12,000 seats in 1924 and, over the course of time, has grown into one of the world’s most impressive sports venues with a capacity of over 91,000 fans. The old stadium has gone through a number of expansions over the years, but the current project is truly unique. Beginning Monday, the demolition of the west upper deck will begin and the process to replace it with a new structure will be fully underway. When the final horn sounds on Saturday night, our staff will have approximately 36 hours to evacuate all usable furniture, movable equipment, electronic components, and other fixtures from the west side structure in preparation for the demolition to begin on Monday morning. By the time you return to Tiger Stadium next fall, you should see 3,200 new club seats, a modern press box and a new west upper deck. It will be a new look for this legendary stadium, and the beginning of a new era for Death Valley. So Saturday night we will bid adieu to the old west upper deck, the north and south Purple Lounges and the venerable old press box that has served Tiger Stadium so well over these past years. It will be a fitting end to another great season of Tiger football. THE MORE THINGS CHANGE … Although the west upper deck was put in place in 1978, the press box was actually constructed in 1953, when the south end zone was enclosed. That makes our press box 51 years old this season. The replacement of the press box will be a welcome change for the sports media that cover Tiger football. In doing some research on the opening of the press box, we found this item from a story in the September 20, 1953, edition of the Morning Advocate about the Tigers’ season opener: “The fans good-naturedly sweltered in the summer weather, but post-game traffic snarls wrote another, more impatient story, as motorists sat, swore and sweated while waiting to be released from the grounds.” I guess some things never change. And they had only 40,000 people at that game! I would bet those people could never have imagined a stadium of over 91,000 fans. POST-SEASON TICKETS Don’t forget that Monday is the deadline for submitting your orders for tickets to LSU’s post-season bowl games. A lot can happen between now and the end of the season, so we still don’t know where the Tigers will be going. But we do know that a lot of LSU fans will be following them wherever they play during the holidays. Season tickets holders were mailed a post-season order form earlier this month. Your order must be post-marked or dropped off to the ticket office by Monday. You can also place your order at www.LSUsports.net. LSU LOUISIANA CLASSIC: $5 SPECIAL OFFER I hope you will come out to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center this weekend for the inaugural LSU Louisiana Classic Men’s Basketball Tournament. There will be two games on Friday and two games on Sunday featuring LSU, Tulane, Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette. And we have some special offers for you. On Friday, Louisiana Tech will face ULL at 5:30 p.m., followed by LSU vs. Tulane at 8 p.m. On Sunday, the losers of Friday’s games will play at 12:30 p.m. and the winners will face off at 3 p.m. The regular price is $15 per day, but we’ve got two great deals for you. On Friday, just bring a canned good to be donated to the Baton Rouge Food Bank and you’ll get in for only $5 for both games. On Sunday, bring your ticket stub from the LSU-Ole Miss football game, and you’ll get in for just $5 for both games. Don’t miss out on this chance to see Louisiana’s best basketball teams in action for only $5 for both games each day. Make it a full weekend of LSU sports with basketball on Friday, football on Saturday and basketball again on Sunday. THANKS, TIGER FANS Finally, I want to thank everyone for making the 2004 football season another great year in Tiger Stadium. You were patient with us as we worked through a year of construction and the resulting changes in parking and tailgating. Your support helps make LSU one of the great athletics programs in America, and we look forward to even greater things ahead. We welcome your comments, so write to us at LSUvision@etigers.net. Although we cannot promise a response to every e-mail we receive, please be assured that every letter will be read. Thank you for your continued support of Tiger Athletics.
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