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N.O. Bowl Update – Saturday, 12/17, 6 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS – The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl logos are all over the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and there are also logos on the field. But we can’t see them.
The painted logos for the two schools, and whatever else is painted on the artificial turf, is still covered by large pieces of paper. One of the dance groups that’s performing either pregame or halftime is on the field, but they’re standing on top of the paper.
If it’s because the paint’s still a little wet, it better dry in a hurry since kickoff’s only a little over two hours away. And as cold as it is in this building, the paint may freeze before it dries.
The view from the top of the ‘Dome is still impressive, especially after the renovations inside the facility last year. But one of those renovations changed the way that media members cover events in the Superdome.
The media area used to be midway up the ‘Dome and may have had the best sight lines of any stadium in the country. But in the renovation, that area became luxury boxes, and the media area was moved to the very top of the ‘Dome … higher than every seat in the building, and on the same level as the large speaker panel that hangs from the middle of the roof.
That sky-high location is where you’ll get the rest of tonight’s reports, as the Ragin’ Cajuns’ first-ever Division I bowl appearance looms just over two hours away.
Prior to the game, the Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation had its own tailgate party in the St. Charles Club room of the Superdome. UL director of athletics Scott Farmer welcomed a large group of RCAF members and other fans (it was comp for the RCAF and a $10 charge for others), and expressed appreciation for their efforts in making this year’s football success and bowl trip possible.
“You are all a part of this,” Farmer said. “This wouldn’t have happened without you, and all of us will be forever appreciative of what you’ve done to make this such a great week and a great season.”
5:45 p.m. and the Cajuns are in the ‘Dome.
The squad, coaches and support staff arrived at the back entrance of the facility and took the walk toward the front of the building and their locker room, located on the north end (Poydras Street end) of the ‘Dome.
The UL cheerleaders and Ragin’ Jazz dance line met the team. The band hasn’t arrived yet, since they’re making a couple of other appearances at the events outside the stadium in the next hour.
The paper covers are now gone and the logos on the field are visible. One more step toward actually kicking off...