November 29, 2014
It started out as a simple football game between two rival Historically Black Universities. Now, 40 years later, it has morphed into something much larger.
The Bayou Classic is now five days of events featuring a parade, fan festival, a golf tournament, empowerment seminars, a battle of the bands and much more, all of which culminates with a football matchup between the Tigers of Grambling State and the Jaguars of Southern University.
The rivalry between the two schools dates back to 1974, when the first Bayou Classic was held in New Orleans' Tulane Stadium. Since then, tens of thousands of fans have gathered at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, not only for this so-called “Bayou Clash” game, but also for what is now a full week of festivities in New Orleans.
One of the highlight events leading-up to the big game is provided by the two schools’ marching bands. The Grambling "Marching Tigers" and the Southern "Human Jukebox" will again compete in a "Battle of the Bands" event held the night before the game in the Superdome.
Those same two marching bands will lead the Fourth Annual Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade, from the Superdome to the French Market. The parade will showcase floats, marching bands, military units, alumni groups, motorized units and elements of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, New Orleans’ oldest predominantly African American Mardi Gras parading organization.
Schedule of Events
- Wednesday, Nov. 26: Business of the Future, Hyatt Regency Hotel, 601 Loyola Avenue adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon.
- Thursday, Nov. 27: Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the French Market. 3:30-6:00 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 28: Bayou Classic Golf Tournament, Joe Bartholomew Golf Course, Pontchartrain Park (opposite Southern University on Press Drive). 10:00 a.m. (check in starts at 9:00 a.m.)
- Friday, Nov. 28: University Business Summit, Hyatt Regency Hotel. 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
- Friday, Nov. 28: Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Program, Hyatt Regency Hotel. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 28: “Greaux Louisiana,” Hyatt Regency Hotel. 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 28: Battle of the Bands and Greek Show, Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 6:00-10:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 29: Fan Fest/Vendor Village, Champions Square (adjacent to Superdome). 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 29: Doc Griggs 2x’s Around the Dome, Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 8:00 a.m. (registration begins 7:30 a.m.).
- Saturday, Nov. 29: 41st Annual Bayou Classic (Grambling vs. Southern), Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 1:30 p.m. (gates open at 12:00 noon; kickoff 1:30 p.m.)
- Saturday, Nov. 29: The Official Bayou Classic Celebrity After-Party, Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive. 10:00 p.m. on
- Sunday, Nov. 30: Gospel Brunch, House of Blues, 225 Decatur Street. 10:00 a.m.
For more details about these events click here follow the Bayou Classic on Facebook and Twitter.
In recent years, the two teams have been fairly evenly matched, with Southern winning the last two contests. In the Bayou Classic series that began in 1974, the two teams are dead even with each winning 20 of the 40 games played.
Both teams, over the years, have produced an astounding number of players who went on to the NFL and other professional football leagues, some of whom are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Longtime Grambling Head Coach, the late Eddie Robinson, who led his team to the first five Bayou Classic triumphs, is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I football history with 408 victories.
The Football Game
The “Bayou Clash” game will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The stadium turnstiles open at noon on Saturday, November 29 and kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.
The game will be televised on the local NBC affiliate, WDSU Channel 6. If you prefer to watch the game on TV, there are many sports bars in and around the downtown area and elsewhere in the city where you can whoop it up with other rabid pigskin fans. Click here for a list of sports bars.
Tickets are now on sale and can be ordered from Ticketmaster or purchased at the gate.
Tickets may also be available at the Superdome box office. Tickets sell out early every year, so make sure you get yours early!