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City Park Receives Gift From Sugar Bowl Committee
Thursday, December 14, 2006
"Sugar Bowl Athletic Complex" to Include Tad Gormley Stadium, Softball Field and Practice Track
NEW ORLEANS - The Sugar Bowl Committee has donated $800,000 to the City Park Improvement Association for the continued restoration and maintenance efforts of Tad Gormley Stadium and two adjoining athletic areas, according to Rick Butler, chairman of the board of City Park's Board of Commissioners.
The donation was announced in a ceremony at City Park today attended by several state, city, City Park and Sugar Bowl Committee officials. City Park officials also announced that the Sugar Bowl Committee would be honored by having the area that comprises Tad Gormley, the practice track and softball field named The Sugar Bowl Athletic Complex.
"This is a tremendous gesture from one of our city's most cherished organizations," state Rick Butler. "The main focus from the monies received by City Park will be used for the improvement, maintenance and operation of Tad Gormley, which includes improvements to the locker rooms, concession areas and bathrooms."
A portion of the proceeds donated by the Sugar Bowl Committee were generated from monies raised for Katrina relief projects through contributions made by Atlanta area hotels and motels during the 2006 Sugar Bowl. The annual game was relocated to Atlanta for the 20006 game, due to damage sustained by the Louisiana Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. This was the first time the game was ever played outside of Louisiana.
"The Sugar Bowl Committee is following its mission established more than 73 years ago to promote economic development and local amateur athletics in our community," said James C. Landis, President of the Sugar Bowl Committee. "Our donation will ensure that these important assets at City Park will remain available to amateur athletes of all ages throughout the state."
Sugar Bowl Past President Mark Romig, who was president of the Sugar Bowl organization during its exile in Atlanta, added, "We wanted to do our part in the rebirth and recovery of our great state and city. Working with the Governor, the Lt. Governor and the Mayor, we looked to City Park as a way for us to demonstrate our commitment and our passion for our fellow citizens."
The Sugar Bowl Committee has been a part of the New Orleans landscape since its establishment in 1934, and generates more than $175 million to the local and state economies with the annual Sugar Bowl Football Classic and other championship sporting events.
About New Orleans City Park
Over 150 years old, one mile wide and three miles long comprising a total of 1,300 acres, New Orleans City Park is one of the 10 largest urban parks in the United States. It is located in the heart of the city and is the largest recreation area for the entire metropolitan area.
On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina dealt a devastating blow to New Orleans City Park.
- Ninety percent of the park was under anywhere from one to eight feet of water.
- The saltwater that entered the park killed or damaged most of the grass including that on three golf courses and most of the tender vegetation (The Botanical Garden) with which it came in contact.
- The Park's Administration Building was under four feet of water: archives lost, computers ruined and records soaked.
- Over 1,600 trees were toppled or extensively damaged.
- The park sustained $43 million in damages.