Located on campus, Loyola Stadium was home to the university’s football team in the 1930s.
Loyola Stadium, 1938. Photographer: Dr. Edward W. Wynne, courtesy Loyola Special Collections.
Night shot of Loyola Stadium at Loyola University, New Orleans, 1938. While the venue takes the name of the school, several photographs identify it as “Joseph Fromherz Stadium.” The venue opened in 1928. This photo–which is stamped on the back with, “Photography by // F. A. // McDaniels // NEW ORLEANS, LA.”–shows what is likely a night practice for the Loyola squad. There’s no crowd or support staff visible. Loyola Stadium was one of the first in the South to host night games.
The end zone clock says, “Courtesy Porter’s.” Porter’s was a menswear store in the CBD. The stadium was demolished at some point after the 1939 football season.
Coupon for discounted reserved seats to the Loyola – Chattanooga football game, 5-Nov-1932.
This article’s inspiration was a coupon printed in the Times-Picayune on 1-November-1932. Maison Blanche sponsored a deal for $1 reserved seat tickets to the Loyola-Chattanooga football game the following Saturday. I post ads from local newspapers to social media during the week, and shared this one. The ads spark conversation and help promote my books. A few people commented that they didn’t know Loyola had a football stadium. So, off to the Loyola archives I went.
Freret and Calhoun
Aerial photo of Loyola Stadium, 1924. Franck Studios courtesy THNOC.
Here’s an aerial photo of the stadium by Franck Studios from 1924. Loyola Stadium stood at the back of the campus, on Freret Street, just off Calhoun. It’s unclear who Loyola is playing here, but the image offers a good view of Freret Street in the 1920s.
Photo of a Loyola football game, 1938. Loyola University Special Collections.
This action photo shows a billboard listing the Loyola football schedule. While it’s dated by the library as 1938, the stadium appears to only be a single-deck. That doesn’t fit with other photos. I’m wondering if this is from a different location.
Loyola discontinued its football program in 1939. The stadium was demolished some time after that. In its place rose the Loyola Field House. The university decided in 1954 that their intercollegiate basketball team needed a better home. So, up went the Field House. While nothing indicates that buildings were demolished to make way for the Field House in 1954, there’s no clear record of what stood on the site between the stadium and the arena.
Twelve Months New Orleans September, continuing the series by Enrique Alferez
Twelve Months New Orleans August
This image is the ninth in a series of images by Enrique Alferez, published by Michael Higgins as “The Twelve Months of New Orleans.” Higgins published the illustrations in 1940. The image features sailboats racing on Lake Pontchartrain.
Alferez was born in Northern Mexico on May 4, 1901. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1927 to 1929. He came to New Orleans in 1929. Alferez made New Orleans his home. He took advantage of various Works Progress Administration grants in the late 1930s. Alferez created a number of sculptures in the metro area, particularly in New Orleans City Park. Additionally, he designed the large fountain in front of Shushan Airport (now New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
Alferez drew and painted, as well as sculpting. So, he included many New Orleans landmarks in the “Twelve Months” booklet.
The title/cover page of the booklet says:
A set of 12 Romantic
Displaying 60 local subjects
drawn direct on the plate
with pen, brush, and crayon
Printed and published by Michael Higgins
at 303 North Peters St
Summer’s end is the theme of September’s illustrations.
Top Left: Blessing the Cane Crop. September is sugar cane harvest time. If you’ve ever been caught behind a cane truck on Highway 1 in bayou country, believe me, we all feel your pain. Like the blessings of the shrimp boats, blessing the cane fields marked the end of summer.
Top Right: Rice. Like the cane crop, the rice harvest is important to South Louisiana to this day. While most Louisiana rice is grown in Southwest Louisiana, the growers shipped it to New Orleans, where factors bought and re-sold it to shippers and out of town buyers. Additionally, that rice appeared on the dinner tables of New Orleans year-round.
Bottom Left: Football Season! While the New Orleans Saints did not become a part of the city’s athletic landscape until 1967, LSU and Tulane football entertained fans. Both teams were in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1940.
Bottom Right: Fish Fry! With school back in session, fundraising by the schools picked up. School cafeterias offered the perfect fundraising opportunity: the fish fry. Send the dads out for the catch. Get someone in the business to donate trout, drum, sheepshead. Head to the cafeteria to clean them and fry them up! Additionally, moms cooked potato salad and sides. Some schools and churches offered shrimp as well. Since September is a “month with an ‘R’, oysters often joined the menu.
The central drawing for September features sailboats racing on the Lake Pontchartrain. The caption reads:
On Labor Day,
The Governor’s Yacht Race is held,
or rather, sailed, on
Lake Pontchartrain and down
on the Gulf,
So, the Governor’s Cup race alternated between the two locations. Clearly this was so the rest of South Louisiana didn’t fuss about the City getting all the events.
See you for the tenth image in October.
Brother Martin High School has a rich history of basketball championships.
Crusader forward Leroy Oliver (1975) goes up over Felton Young of Holy Cross in second-round district play, 1974. Center Rick Robey (1974) looks on, hoping he doesn’t have to go for a rebound. (photo courtesy Brother Martin High School)
I was reminded of the 1973-74 season yesterday because of the current story of St. Augustine defeating Scotlandville High School yesterday (13-March-2021) to win the state championship.
This year’s story is of a team that wouldn’t be denied three years in a row. St. Augustine lost to Scotlandville in the championship game in 2019 and 2020. The story in 1974 was of two teams that played each other five times in the same season.
Brother Martin vs. Holy Cross
Two top-flight teams in the Catholic League make for a grueling season. Brother Martin, state champions in 1970 and 1971, returned as a contender in 1973-74. Coach Tom Kolb returned to coach the Crusaders after running the Jesuit program. Four letterman, Leroy Oliver, Rodney Montgomery, Jimmy McCulla and Rick Robey, along with Donald “Duck” Newman, started.
The Crusaders defeated the Holy Cross Tigers in their first district game, at Holy Cross. Both teams ended the first round with 6-1 records. They played for the first round championship at Tulane. Holy Cross won. They met in their very next game, at Brother Martin. The Crusaders defeated the Tigers. They went on to win the round undefeated.
So, the teams met a fourth time, again at Tulane, to decide the district champion. The Tigers lost, 57-58. The teams advanced to the playoffs. Each team won four games on the road to the championship showdown in Alexandria, LA. The Crusaders won that fifth meeting of the season, 67-56.
As Brother Neal Golden, SC, wrote about that year:
Robey completed an outstanding senior year.
- He made All-District, All-City, and All-State and was selected the best player in the Top Twenty tournament.
- Rated as one of the top four seniors in America, he signed with Kentucky where he played four years before going to the NBA.
That was three state championships in the first four years since Brother Martin opened. Crusader basketball continued to bring hope district and state titles.
Brother Martin vs St. Augustine
So, the big basketball rivalry wasn’t always with St. Augustine. Like many successful runs (like the Scotlandville run that just came to an end), a school gets that one (or maybe two) players who stand out. The Crusaders experienced this in 2002-2003, when DJ Augustin came to Elysian Fields. The Crusaders were state runner-up that season. They won the championship in 2004 and 2005. Augustin and his teammates were odds-on favorites to win a third championship, but Hurricane Katrina had other ideas.
My band kiddo’s sophomore year was an exciting, albeit grueling one for Crusader basketball. The team played St. Augustine four times that season, losing to the Purple Knights three times. Fourth time was lucky, as they defeated their Catholic League rivals in the state semi-finals, going on to win the championship.
Krauss Sugar Bowl 1955 presented store ads for all sports.
Krauss Sugar Bowl 1955
Undated photo of a display at Krauss Department Store, December, 1954 to January, 1955. The display presented equipment and memorabilia from the various schools participating in the Sugar Bowl events. The sign at the bottom says, “Whatever your sport, you’ll find ‘Top Flite” EQUIPMENT — in Krauss Fine Sporting Goods Department – 4th Floor.
The 1955 Sugar Bowl Classic
The 20th Annual Sugar Bowl Classic football game featured Navy (the US Naval Academy) versus Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi). The teams played in Tulane Stadium on Saturday, January 1, 1955. The Midshipmen defeated the Rebels, 21-0. Joe Gattuso of Navy earned the MVP award. A crowd of 80,190 watched the game in the Uptown New Orleans stadium. ABC presented the game live.
While the football game is the biggest part of any Sugar Bowl Classic, schools compete in other sports over the holiday break. This Krauss Sugar Bowl 1955 display lists the sports and schools:
- BOXING – Maryland vs LSU – Dec 28 – 8:30pm – Municipal Auditorium
- TENNIS – Dec 28 – 29 & 30 – New Orleans Country Club – Matches begin 10am, Tues & Wed – 1pm Thursday
- BASKETBALL – Wed Dec 29th and Thurs Dec 30th – Loyola U Field House. Games begin at 7:45pm and 9:30pm each night. First Parings – Loyola vs Notre Dame – Bradley vs Holy Cross
- TRACK – Friday, Dec 31 – 2:30pm – City Park Stadium
- FOOTBALL – Saturday, Jan 1 Navy vs Mississippi Tulane Stadium
- REGATTA – Fri Dec 31st 12:30pm & Sunday, Jan 2, 10am at the SOUTHERN YACHT CLUB
So, the Sugar Bowl Classic offered a wide range of sporting excitment.
Sports and Sugar
This display presented more team memorabilia than sports equipment. Let’s face it, visitors aren’t looking to buy basketballs. Photos, autographed balls, and other items attracted the fans. Packages of Domino’s Sugar remind visitors of the connection between sugar and the city.
Krauss Sugar Bowl 1955 was the first classic where the train station next to the store was closed. Terminal Station, a neighbor to Krauss since 1908, moved operations to Union Passenger Terminal in 1954. So, visitors riding Southern Railway and Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio emerged from their trains at the brand-new station on Loyola Avenue.
Andy Bourgeois becomes the first football coach at Cor Jesu.
Mr. Andy Bourgeois was the first head football coach at Cor Jesu High School. The school announced it would compete in Catholic League athletics in the fall of 1964. So, Cor Jesu’s administration named its first athletic staff in January, 1965.
From its opening in 1954 until 1965, Cor Jesu High School’s defined its mission as a college prep school. While the other BOSH school in New Orleans, St. Aloysius, had athletics, Cor Jesu focused on academics. St. Aloysius High School operated as a holistic school. Cor Jesu, on Elysian Fields in Gentilly, went for the “smart boys.”
By the mid-1960s, the BOSH changed Cor Jesu’s mission. The BOSH looked ahead at the viability of the St. Aloysius campus at Esplanade and N. Rampart. Since the Aloysius building opened in 1925, it aged poorly. The Institute decided their future was on Elysian Fields, with the newer facilities.
Athletics at Cor Jesu
If the BOSH were to consolidate their efforts on Elysian Fields, the campus needed an athletic department. They had the land for this. They needed the staff. On January 30, 1965, Brother Roland, SC, Cor Jesu’s principal, introduced Andy Bourgeois at a meet-and-greet dinner. The school cafeteria provided the setting for the event.
Bourgeois was known to New Orleans, and specifically to the BOSH faith community. He graduated from St. Aloysius in 1956. As an undergraduate at LSU, Bourgeois was one of the “Chinese Bandits” that won the football national championship in 1958.
About 400 boys from the school attended the dinner event with their parents. Brother Roland introduced Coach Bourgeois. Brother presented Coach with the first “letterman” sweater for Cor Jesu. Bourgeois drove around to elementary schools in Gentilly. He introduced himself and kicked off the school’s recruiting.
Brother Roland introduced two coaches at that 30-January-1965 dinner. While Bourgeois and football received top billing, Brother also introduced Cor Jesu’s first basketball coach. Robert Conlin, a graduate of De La Salle and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, led the Kingsman’s basketball program. He also assisted Bourgeois with football. When the two schools combined in 1969, Bourgeous left. Conlin became Brother Martin’s first head football coach. So, that’s how Conlin’s legend began. Andy Russo, moved from head basketball coach at St. Aloysius to Brother Martin.
The decision to add athletics sparked new development on Elysian Fields. Cor Jesu built the massive gymnasium building. Brother Martin later named the gym for Coach Conlin.
Sugar Bowl New Orleans 1969 featured Arkansas v. Georgia.
Sugar Bowl New Orleans 1969
Advertising graphic for the 1969 edition of the Sugar Bowl. Arkansas played Georgia on January 1, 1969, in the Sugar Bowl. The teams played in Tulane Stadium. Georgia lost, 2 to 6.
Origins of the Sugar Bowl
By the 1930s, two of the four “original” bowl games played. The Tournament of Roses parade organization added a football game in 1902. So, in 1926, the city of Miami added football to New Year’s. Miami held the “Fiesta of the American Tropics.” The name later changed to the “Palm Festival.” The football game was dubbed the “Orange Bowl.”
While Pasadena and Miami started early, New Orleans was not to be upstaged. Discussions about holding a New Year’s football game in New Orleans began after the second Orange Bowl in 1927. It took until 1935 for the game to come together. So, the festival and game became the “Sugar Bowl.”
Why Sugar Bowl?
The New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association chose “Sugar” for their “Bowl.” While this seems obvious, there was more to it. Given the region’s relationship with sugar cane farming, it makes sense. So, it looks like a no-brainer. Additionally, there was a specific connection between sugar and Tulane University, the site of the game. The Foucher Plantation became Tulane University in 1871. Etienne de Bore, Paul Foucher’s father-in-law, successfully granulated sugar on the plantation.
The Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl stadiums bear the names of their signature events. Tulane Stadium provided the 100 yards for the Sugar Bowl. The university built the stadium in 1926. The stadium retained the school’s name. So, Tulane hosted the game from 1935 until 1975. The game moved to the Louisiana Superdome in 1976. The Sugar Bowl calls the Superdome home to this day. There was one exception. The city of Atlanta offered the Georgia Dome for the 2006 game. So, New Orleans struggled throughout the Fall of 2005, with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The city was unable to put on a major event in January, 2006. So, Atlanta stepped up, and the game returned to the Superdome the following year.
The caption for this graphic reads:
B&W photo, January 1, 1969. Graphic advertisement for the annual Sugar Bowl Football Classic in New Orleans, La. Written on photo: The New Year’s Day game will pit Arkansas and Georgia in the 1p.m. contest at the 83,000 seat Sugar Bowl Stadium (Final score: Arkansas, 6- Georgia, 2).
The record for this graphic includes no mention of where it was published. The State Library of Louisiana owns the original.
Sugar Bowl 2021
The Allstate Sugar Bowl doubles as a College Football Playoff semi-final game in 2021.
Happy New Year!