SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The 47th annual Bayou Classic game, which took place in Shreveport this year— the first time since 1973 — bought in many fans and alumni from across the country.
In October, it was announced that the annual November matchup between Grambling State and Southern Universities wouldn’t be played until spring 2021, due to the pandemic.
The announcement was made after the Southwest Athletic conference announced all fall sports, including football would be postponed due to COVID concerns.
Then, when Bayou Classic organizers learned the Mercedes Benz Superdome wouldn’t be ready for the April 17, 2021 date they selected, they joined with school leadership from both Grambling State University and Southern University and A&M College, Shreveport Mayor Adrian D. Perkins and Shreveport-Bossier’s Sports Commission to announce that the 47th Annual Bayou Classic would be temporarily moved to Shreveport.
Saturday, as Southern and Grambling fans and alumni began firing up grills in Independence Stadium’s parking lot for pregame tailgate parties, it was clear that any disappointment over the game’s relocation was far outweighed by happiness that the Classic was being played at all.
“It’s pretty different being in Shreveport,” said Torrance Moton, a Southern University alumni. “I’m used to being in New Orleans. But, hey it’s the Bayou Classic. I’m going to travel for my team.”
Louisiana native Laterence Mitchell, who now lives in Atlanta, said he traveled nine hours just to see the big game. “This is a big part of my family. We tailgate every year,” Mitchell said, adding he and his family also come back to support Louisiana.
One New Orleans couple said they absolutely did not mind the traveling despite the chilly temperatures. “As long as it doesn’t rain,” said Costre Anderson. “We are having a good time,” he said.