It was the obvious decision. The LSU-BYU game that was supposed to be played this weekend in Houston has been moved to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Here’s the press release sent out by ESPN.
Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey to Houston and the surrounding areas, the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff between BYU and LSU, originally scheduled to be played in NRG Stadium in Houston, has been relocated to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. The game will still be played on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT and televised on ESPN.
“First and foremost, we are keeping the citizens of the Houston region, and the thousands of first responders, in our thoughts during this very difficult time,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and events. “Over the last 72 hours, we have been in constant contact with all entities involved, including our partners at the Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, the SEC and both institutions. Ultimately, the decision was made to move forward with the relocation.
“During the last few days, we were overwhelmed with the outreach by the communities offering to host this event, specifically, Dallas, Jacksonville, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando and San Antonio. We have great partners within those cities through the Football Bowl Association and we appreciate their energy in finding a solution.
“Efforts are underway in New Orleans and we will work with the fans, the Superdome, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and both schools throughout the week to ensure the most optimal game day experience for all.”
Ticket information, updates and additional detail will be forthcoming and made available at http://www.advocaretexaskickoff.com/.
The news was broken on Jim Engster’s radio show. Engster had Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser on the show and he texted Engster after his appearance. The kickoff time remains 8:30 PM on Saturday.
Meanwhile, those LSU (and BYU) fans who bought tickets this weekend will have their purchases refunded, according to the LSU Athletics Ticket Office.
ADVOCARE TEXAS KICKOFF REFUND INFORMATION
BATON ROUGE — Tickets and parking passes purchased through the LSU ticket office for the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff will be automatically refunded beginning tomorrow, August 29th. Ticketholders can expect to see the balance of their purchase refunded by September 5th.
The LSU ticket office will work in conjunction with AdvoCare Texas Kickoff officials to set up a purchasing structure for that event. LSU will alert fans when tickets are available.
For more information visit http://lsutix.net or contact the LSU Tickets Office at (225) 578-2184 or toll free at 1-800-960-8587.
Moving the game to New Orleans was a no-brainer. The area is easy enough for LSU and BYU fans to travel to and the city has experience hosting big games like this. If ESPN was going to recover its losses, it had to be New Orleans.
For once, ESPN has made a smart decision.
UPDATE: Here’s what the Superdome officials have to say
"We’re repaying a favor. Folks in Houston took care of the population here after Katrina. They opened their arms to us"#LSU
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 28, 2017