College football: Rescheduled 47th annual Bayou Classic to be played in Shreveport in April

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City of Shreveport Press Release 

The 47th annual Bayou Classic between Grambling State and Southern University will be played at Independence Stadium on April 21.

The move is only for the spring season. The event will return to its usual home, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in November of 2021.

In July, the Southwestern Athletic Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors postponed all fall sports until the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bayou Classic organizers joined with school leadership from both Grambling State and Southern University and A&M College, Mayor Adrian D. Perkins of Shreveport and the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission to make the announcement Monday during a press conference at Independence Stadium.

The Bayou Classic has proven to be a steadfast beacon of legacy and tradition that extends beyond the HBCU community. 

Fans from across the nation journey to witness the electrifying football game between Grambling and Southern, while eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated halftime show featuring two of the greatest marching bands in the nation.

Due to the substantial scope of the Phase 2 renovation work to begin in January 2021 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, this rescheduled annual matchup had to be temporarily moved to another location. 

This is a one-time, temporary move of location, similar to 2005 following Hurricane Katrina when the Bayou Classic was played in Houston, Texas.

“The Bayou Classic is a long-standing tradition that we are excited to have come to Shreveport. We are proud to be a part of ensuring the continuity of this game that spans decades,” Perkins said. 

“Southern and Grambling both have a rich history that is woven through families across this state. Alumni and fans in North Louisiana will be thrilled to see the Jaguars and Tigers battle in Independence Stadium.”

“Along with the leadership at both universities, we are excited to bring the Bayou Classic to Shreveport in April,” said Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of NOCCI (New Orleans Convention Company, Inc.), the event management firm for the 47th Annual Bayou Classic.

“Each year the Bayou Classic fans ‘Experience the Power’ of this event and these two remarkable HBCUs, and we are thrilled that we can still bring that to the fans.”

“We always look forward to playing Southern in the Bayou Classic each year,” said Grambling State University President Richard Gallot. “While we won’t be able to do so at the Superdome, we are thankful to Mayor Perkins, the City of Shreveport, the Shreveport-Bossier  Sports Commission, Caddo Parish Commission, and other local sponsors for extending the opportunity to continue this time-honored tradition in their city.”


“As we strive together to stay safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty, we are looking forward to enjoying the return of our sports programs next Spring and to welcoming back our loyal fans to support our teams and student-athletes. 

“We are especially excited to reschedule our longstanding Bayou Classic football game,” SU System President Ray L. Belton said. “A huge thank you to Mayor Perkins, the City of Shreveport, and the Shreveport-Bossier Sport Commission, who are working in collaboration with our Bayou Classic partners to temporarily host the largest black college football game showcasing HBCU talent and achievement. 

“We look forward to a successful game and an exciting interim venue in north Louisiana.”