Currently, amidst the USFL offseason, there are several speculations circulating about the future location of the New Orleans Breakers for the 2024 season. The primary debate revolves around whether they will remain in the HUB or relocate to Louisiana. One stadium that shows potential, based on the information I have gathered, is the Shrine On Airline – formerly known as Zephyr Stadium. It currently serves as the home venue for the NOLA GOLD rugby team.
Breaking Down The Shrine
The Shrine On Airline is strategically situated in Metairie, Louisiana, a mere 20-minute drive from New Orleans. This stadium was constructed in 1995 and officially opened its doors in 1997 for the inaugural minor league baseball game of the New Orleans Zephyrs. Subsequently, it hosted the Zephyrs (then Baby Cakes) until their departure in 2019. The venue has also accommodated other sports events over the years, including soccer for the New Orleans Storm USISL team, select Tulane baseball games while their on-campus stadium underwent renovations in 2006 and 2007, and the Wally Pontiff Classic for LSU baseball from 2004 to 2019.
Now the question arises whether the stadium is suitable to serve as the Breakers’ home. Many, including myself, believe it is the ideal choice given the circumstances. Although slated for renovations in 2024, the stadium is set to host six high school football games during the 2023 fall season, indicating its potential for hosting football events. With a seating capacity of a little over ten thousand, it is the perfect size for a USFL team, and the ample parking space further adds to its appeal. Notably, the Breakers have secured a strong audience rating and viewership in the New Orleans market over the last two seasons, signifying significant local interest and enthusiasm. Thus, the prospects for the Breakers playing at the Shrine On Airline in 2024 are highly promising. Should this arrangement come to fruition, the Breakers would stand out as the only USFL team with a dedicated stadium, unshared with any other tenants.
While other stadiums like Yulman Stadium and Tad Gormley Stadium remain viable options, they appear less likely. Yulman Stadium’s recent rent increase, coupled with its restriction on hosting high school football games, makes it less appealing. Similarly, Tad Gormley Stadium, though boasting a larger seating capacity of around 27 thousand, lacks the aesthetics and visual appeal that would be desirable for a televised USFL game.
Negotiations for the Breakers’ future home are currently in their preliminary stages, according to various sources. Nevertheless, I am confident that the Shrine On Airline will ultimately be selected as the Breakers’ venue for the upcoming season. This decision would likely be met with great enthusiasm by the devoted fans who have shown unwavering support for the team. As we eagerly await further developments, it would be disheartening if this prospect were to fall through.
What are your thoughts on where the New Orleans Breakers should play in 2024? Could The Shrine be a potential option worth pursuing? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!