More tickets to be made available for Bayou Classic as La. governor eases COVID-19 restrictions
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - With Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ announcement that the state is easing COVID-19 restrictions even further, more tickets will be made available for the Bayou Classic.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and the city council met Wednesday morning (March 31) to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with NOCCI, Inc., an event management company based out of New Orleans, to promote and market the Bayou Classic, set to be played Saturday, April 17 at Independence Stadium.
NOCCI, Inc. has coordinated the Bayou Classic in the past. The Bayou Classic is played annually in New Orleans each November and was moved after the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors made the decision to postpone fall sports contests.
“They are helping organize the game, they are the ones helping us coordinate all the gaming events, the marketing,” Mayor Perkins said. “We are working with them as the game capacity has gone up. They will be releasing tickets. So we are working to make this event the best it can be for our city.”
Mayor Perkins says the planning has been going well but admits it has been a complicated process with COVID-19.
“When we initially announced this we were at 25% capacity,” the mayor said. “Now, it’s much higher so it’s been a moving target along the way. We’ve had citizen input with committees. We have NOCCI that we are working with, the Tourism Bureau, and various other partners throughout the city that’s alleviating the pain a little bit. It’s going to be a great event. I’m really anticipating a phenomenal event for our city and the visitors coming to our city.”
Initially, Independence Stadium was allowed 25% capacity for the game, or 12,500 people. Now, ticket sales will be moved up to 50% capacity. Mayor Perkins says the city is working with NOCCI, Inc. on the additional ticket sales. Perkins says he hopes by the end of the first week of April, more tickets to the game will be available.
Gov. Edwards announced Tuesday, March 30 he will be lifting capacity limitations for many of the state’s businesses, but the statewide mask mandate will remain.
The governor will issue a new proclamation Wednesday, March 31 that will stay in effect until April 28.
Specific capacity limitations for restaurants, bars, gyms, and retail settings will no longer be in place, he says. Bars, in particular, can stay open later than 11 p.m. as long as they adhere to local ordinances.
With the latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the state, additional announcements surrounding Port City Fest, a string of events leading up to the big game, are expected to be made Thursday, April 1.
On Wednesday, March 24, Grambling Athletics suspended football activities and canceled two games due to positive COVID-19 tests. As of Wednesday, March 31, there have been more positive cases of COVID-19 on the football team but the exact number is not known.
According to Grambling, the entire team is quarantined and contact tracing has begun.
Grambling confirms the Bayou Classic is still on at this time.
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