Since it first opened April 11, 1997, nearly 8 million baseball fans have passed through the turnstiles. Zephyr Field features 10,000 chair-backed seats with cup-holders, plus seating for nearly 1,000 on The Levee in center field. The Zephyrs have drawn more than 320,000 fans in each of their 20 seasons on Airline after drawing fewer than 200,000 in each of their four seasons at Privateer Park.
In 1999, Zephyr Field hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game, which was nationally televised by ESPN, and in 2013, Major League Baseball returned to the Crescent City for the first time in 14 years when the Zephyrs faced their parent club, the Miami Marlins, in an exhibition game.
Zephyr Field has also played host to numerous college baseball games, including a Super Regional between LSU and Tulane in 2001 which broke NCAA attendance records by drawing 11,719, 11,679 and 11,870, respectively. The park was also the site of the Conference USA Tournament in 2001 and 1998 and the 1999 Sun Belt Conference Tournament. LSU annually plays the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Classic at the stadium to honor the memory of former Tiger and Metairie native Wally Pontiff, Jr.
Numerous prep games have been played at Zephyr Field since the doors opened in 1997, including the New Orleans Zephyrs High School Invitational Tournment. Zephyr Field hosted the Class 5A Louisiana High School Athletic Association Baseball Tournament in 2005 after hosting it in 2004 and setting an attendance record for a state high school tournament.
The field has also shown its versatility by hosting many events besides baseball. A historic visit was made in 2001 as President George W. Bush made an appearance at the stadium to talk about his Tax Relief plan for the United States. President Bush spoke to an enthusiastic crowd on April 25 before a game between the University of New Orleans and Tulane.
The College Football All-Star Challenge took place at Zephyr Field featuring a skills competition between future NFL stars. The event was aired nationally by FOX. On March 8, 2002, Zephyr Field made the Guiness World Book of Records as the largest academic pep rally in the world took place with over 7,000 students from 36 East Bank Jefferson Parish Public Schools attended.
Zephyr Field was home to the New Orleans Storm minor league soccer club, which played its A-League home games at the facility in 1998 and ‘99 after a U.S. Open Cup contest between the Storm and their Major League Soccer parent team, the Dallas Burn, drew more than 7,000 spectators in 1997.
Hollywood has also taken notice of Zephyr Field, as the ballpark is featured in the 2004 feature “Mr. 3000” and the 2006 film “Failure To Launch.” In 2008, Zephyr Field was used for competition on Spike TV’s reality game show “Pros vs. Joes,” and in 2011, TBS used the facility as the backdrop for the pilot of “Hound Dog,” a comedy series centered around a minor league baseball team.
A pair of firsts took place in 2016 when Zephyr Field hosted its first-ever major concert and high school football games. A stadium-record 16,289 concert-goers packed the facility on April 9th to see the Grammy Award-winning Mumford & Sons.
In the fall, the New Orleans Catholic League brought a series of eight regular season football games to the Shrine, with the stadium’s gridiron debut on September 23rd between John Curtis and Brother Martin drawing more than 10,000 fans before a national TV audience on ESPNU. Across eight regular season and three postseason contests, 62,750 spectators witnessed high school football.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the facility served as a staging area for rescue operations by FEMA and the National Guard. After the stadium sustained multimillion-dollar wind damage during the storm, a new scoreboard and sound system was installed in time for the 2006 season, as well as construction done to fix the roof, field lights and Party Shack in right field.
During the 2008 offseason, the playing surface at Zephyr Field was entirely replaced as part of a $1.27 million bond commission from the State of Louisiana that also upgraded the drainage system and outfield retention wall.
In October 2015, the team signed an agreement with L.S.E.D. that will keep them at the Shrine through at least the 2020 season.
As part of the team’s rebranding to the Baby Cakes prior to the 2017 season, a ground-level retail location was added to the stadium’s front office entrance, giving fans a convenient place for year-round shopping for the first time.