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Carrolton's Harrell Park Reopens with Super Bowl Turf


The smell of fresh cut AstroTurf filled the air today at Harrell Park’s opening, newly invigorated with a championship-caliber field straight from Super Bowl XLVII. The City, NORD, the Bensons, the NFL, Chevron, and a host of other private and nonprofit partnerships came together to restore Carrolton's recreation facility, where Mayor Mitch was proud to say he used to toss the pigskin (or try) as a kid.

 

“I played football on this field as a kid. I got thrown off,” Mayor Mitch qualified. “I wasn’t very fast.” 

 

Hopefully, the next batch of young football players will have more luck. The refurbishment, made possible through the NFL, is “the most spectaculuar of all the spectacular projects we have,” said Landrieu. Addressing skeptics who question the long term value of Bowl games for the City, Mayor Mitch suggested they look down.

 

“I’m just looking down at this championship turf,” said the Mayor.

 

As part of a Super Bowl environmental initiative, the NFL recycled the turf directly from the Dome after the Ravens put a cap on their dream season

 

The facility gets its name from Glenna Harrell, who was seated in the audience. Mrs. Harrell lost her husband in the Howard Johnson sniper tragedy during the 1970s, and Mayor Mitch took a second to honor the respected member of the community. 

 

NORD CEO Vic Richard, GNO Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero, Tom Benson, Rita Benson-Leblanc, and Chevron’s Corporate Responsibility Manager Sakari Morrison all spoke on behalf of the project.

 

Mayor Mitch thanked Chevron for giving “about a million bucks” to the project.

 

Creatively referencing Chevron’s slogan, “human energy,” Morrison gave a shout out to all of the coaches that devote their time to New Orleans’ kids, calling them heroes.

 

“Each coach spends four hours a day volunteering on average [during any given season], that’s 385 hours per year,” Morrison said. “In the 40 years of NORD, that’s 15 million hours. Now that’s human energy,” said Chevron’s rep.

 

Chevron also gave all the coaches present duffle bags full of gift items such as gas cards and gift cards to Academy Sports.

 

Unsurprisingly, the Bensons were a big part of the project, and Mayor Mitch credited them for pushing the NFL to leave the locals some lagniappe. When Tom Benson and his daughter Rita Benson-LeBlanc walked to the mic, the crowd cheered "Who Dat!"  

 

After noting the Dalai Lama's stop in New Orleans, His Holiness Mayor Mitch "ordained" Harrell Park a field of peace. 

 

Once all the grownups finished talking, the NORD band, cheerleaders, and young football players were anxious to run through Harrell Park’s banner. 

 

This article originally referred to Harrell Park's location as "Hollygrove." The facility is located in the Carrolton neighborhood, and the article was modified to reflect these changes on May 20, 2013 at 11:25am. 




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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

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Linzi Falk

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Alexis Manrodt


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