For the first time in nearly two decades, the Bayou Classic will not be played in the Superdome.
Because the Bayou Classic event dates conflict with a multiyear renovation project scheduled for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the 47th edition of the Southern-Grambling State matchup will take place at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Lousiana in 2021.
But for Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs, a change in location does not necessarily mean the rivalry game will lose its luster.
“Anytime you’re playing against your brothers (Southern), that’s always going to be a huge affair and a huge event,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s a sibling rivalry, and it’s been that way since the beginning of time.”
The game will still feel different, though. The grandiose pageantry will be missing in some ways in the new COVID-19 world. In compliance with health guidelines and restrictions for outdoor sporting events in Louisiana, Independence Stadium will be restricted to 25% occupancy for the April 17 game.
But the game, said Fobbs, matters regardless of location or when it is played.
The last time the Bayou Classic was not played at the Superdome in New Orleans was when the contest moved to Houston in 2005 amid Hurricane Katrina.
“We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “It is an exciting opportunity. The good thing is that we don’t have to travel as far as we used to.”