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Baseball: UL’s preference – Play all home baseball games at Tigue

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Dec. 3, 2016

Kevin Foote and Tim Buckley discuss the upcoming Ragin Cajuns baseball season which has many fans wondering where the team will play its home games.

UL has a first choice for where it hopes to play games until a major renovation project is finished at its home baseball stadium, M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.

And it does not involve going elsewhere.

“Our ideal scenario is to play in The Tigue,” UL interim athletic director Jessica Leger said this week.

That’s right: UL’s hope is that it will not have to play any of its 2017 ‘home’ games at another team’s stadium.

Whether such a scenario can be realized, however, remains to be seen.

“Literally anything can happen,” Leger said.

“It could rain for two months, and we’re not gonna be able to go through with our ideal plans. So we have a million backup plans, just in case.”

Starting the season at The Tigue would mean all sorts of temporary changes, since the project is not expected to be complete when UL’s home schedule opens on March 3, 2017, against Southern Mississippi.

That include alternate seating options until the grandstand area is finished, a temporary press-box location and no suites – all major parts of the project – right away.

It’s possible that temporary seating will installed elsewhere around the field so fans can be accommodated before the grandstand is cleared for use.

The Cajuns – frequently nationally ranked, and perennially postseason participants of late – are currently scheduled to play their first eight games on the road, beginning Feb. 17 against Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.

They had been looking at alternate venues until The Tigue is completely done, including at LSU, Zephyr Field near New Orleans, McNeese State, Fabacher Field in Youngsville and other locales statewide.

As of midweek, Leger said, no options were off the table.

But it’s now known what UL’s first choice is.

“We’re looking into (other possibilities),” Leger said, “but we’re also looking into what’s the soonest we can get into the stadium and how do we adjust that with our seat pricing and everything else.

“We’re really close to rolling out our plan in the next couple weeks. We still waiting on some facts and figures so we can get final approval.”

The start of the project was delayed by more than a month due to financing issues earlier this year, including a $6 million shortfall. But it did eventually get under way this past summer.

Scott Farmer, who last week was forced to resign for a variety of reasons, was UL’s athletic director at the time. A national search for his replacement is underway.

Leger suggested no exact date for either project completion and an early move-in has been set yet.

“We’re shooting at a moving target,” she said, “so it’s impossible for us to have this plan in place yet.

“But we understand that our fans are dying to know, and we want to make sure we provide them with information as soon as possible.

“Ideally,” Leger added, “we’re trying to see at what point we can get back into the stadium with our fans.”