SHREVEPORT, La.- The organizers of the Bayou Classic have decided to move the 20201 Bayou Classic from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to Independence Stadium in Shreveport. Renovations to the Superdome will not be complete by April, so a neutral site within the state was chosen.
The organizers of the Bayou Classic joined with school leadership from both Grambling State University and Southern University and A&M College, Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport and Shreveport-Bossier's Sports Commission to announce that the 47th Annual Bayou Classic would be temporarily moved to Shreveport, La.
The 47th Annual Bayou Classic will be played on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Independence Stadium in Shreveport. More details regarding the Bayou Classic will be released at a future date.
"It is definitely an honor and a privilege for us to be speaking about playing the Bayou Classic in this current state of pandemic that we've been in," said Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs.
"It has been extremely tough for not only the coaches and administrators, but also our players. We've gone through and dealt with a lot. Not only that but the fact that we've been watching others play, even though we feel we are doing the correct thing by not playing at this particular time. Overall we're looking forward to playing the Bayou Classic in Shreveport, La. and it's going to be great for north Louisiana and it's also going to be great for south Louisiana as well to have this game being played on Louisiana soil, so we look forward to it," said Fobbs.
The Bayou Classic is the annual legendary football game between Grambling State University and Southern University. The Bayou Classic has proven to be a steadfast beacon of legacy and tradition that extends beyond the HBCU community. Fans from across the nation journey to witness the electrifying football game between Grambling and Southern, while eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated halftime show featuring two of the greatest marching bands in the nation.
Due to the substantial scope of the Phase 2 renovation work to begin in January 2021 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the annual home of the Bayou Classic, this rescheduled annual matchup between the Grambling Tigers and the Southern Jaguars had to be temporarily moved to another location. This is a one-time, temporary move of location, similar to 2005 following Hurricane Katrina when the Bayou Classic was played in Houston, Texas.
The 48th Annual Bayou Classic is scheduled to be held in New Orleans in November 2021 as traditionally done each year.
"The Bayou Classic is a long-standing tradition that we are excited to have come to Shreveport. We are proud to be a part of ensuring the continuity of this game that spans decades," said Mayor Perkins. "Southern and Grambling both have a rich history that is woven through families across the state. Alumni and fans in North Louisiana will be thrilled to see the Jaguars and Tigers battle in Independence Stadium.
Independence Stadium is owned by the City of Shreveport and is the home of the Independence Bowl, a post-season National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sanctioned Division 1 college football bowl game.
"Along with the leadership at both universities, we are excited to bring the Bayou Classic to Shreveport in April," said Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of NOCCI (New Orleans Convention Company, Inc.), the event management firm for the 47th Annual Bayou Classic. "Each year the Bayou Classic fans 'Experience the Power' of this event and these two remarkable HBCU's, and we are thrilled that we can still bring that to the fans."
"We always look forward to playing Southern in the Bayou Classic each year," said Grambling State University President Richard Gallot. "While we won't be able to do so at the Superdome, we are thankful to Mayor Perkins, the City of Shreveport, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Caddo Parish Commission, and other local sponsors for extending the opportunity to continue this time-honored tradition in their city."