NFL, FieldTurf assist New Orleans stadium rebuilding

NEW ORLEANS, LA—A new state-of-the-art FieldTurf surface has been installed at Pan American Stadium in New Orleans. Pan American is part of New Orleans’ 1300-acre City Park complex which was virtually wiped out by the damage incurred by Hurricane Katrina. Funds for the FieldTurf installation were provided by the National Football League Youth Football Fund on behalf of the New Orleans Saints. The new surface will enable Pan American to host a myriad of local sporting events, primarily at the high school and grass roots level.

Located in New Orleans’ Mid City district, Pan American Stadium has long been one of the city’s primary venues for local high school football and soccer games. The facility has also served as the home for various professional and semi-professional teams in those sports. Pan American is currently the primary venue in New Orleans for high school football, and it’s also the home stadium for the New Orleans Shell Shockers of the United Soccer League (USL). Pan American is scheduled to host 38 regular season high school football games in ’08. The first one will take place on September 4 when Jesuit plays Reed.

The basic “earth” work at Pan American Stadium began in mid-February with the actual FieldTurf installation commencing in mid-March. Pan American was built in 1973 and presently has a seating capacity of 4500.

Without access to Pan American Stadium in the post-Katrina era, local high schools have struggled to find affordable sites in which to play their games. The restoration of the facility, coupled with the new FieldTurf surface, will go a long way towards providing first-class, affordable facilities for the many New Orleans-area high schools who had come to rely on Pan American.

“We are pleased that local children have a safe place to play football and proud that the New Orleans Saints directed our attention to this field project,” said NFL Director of Youth Football Alexia Gallagher. “Our NFL Youth Football Fund grants help provide youngsters with fields that will help them achieve their athletic goals.”

“We are extremely enthusiastic to be involved with the efforts in New Orleans to restore one of the city’s most important recreational facilities,” said FieldTurf Tarkett CEO Joe Fields. “City Park has long been one of the gems of the city, and Pan American Stadium has long held a very important place with the community’s youth and high school sports programs. The new FieldTurf surface at Pan American is top-notch, and will provide the stadium with the ability to host an unlimited number of sporting events. The Shell Shockers and all of the high schools that utilize Pan American will know that they are playing on the safest, most playable and best artificial turf product manufactured in the world today.”