Dr. Steven Conrad and Walter Imahara are the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s 2020 Outstanding Alumni.
The largest philanthropic gift in Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics history will deliver significant support for the planned renovation of Cajun Field. Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center has committed a $15 million gift over 15 years for the project, securing naming rights for the new home of Ragin’ Cajuns Football.
The completed project, Cajun Field at Our Lady of Lourdes Stadium, will provide the first major extensive renovation of the facility in its 50-year existence. Cajun Field opened in 1971.
"This transformational gift from Our Lady of Lourdes will play a pivotal role in the future of our campus community and Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard. “Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the most vital organizations in Lafayette, as well as across Acadiana, and we are extremely grateful to join in this partnership to create a first-class game day experience for Cajun Nation and our student-athletes.”
The new west tower of the renovated facility will feature premium suites, a luxurious club level and club seats, loge boxes, and press box. The premium amenities available to Ragin’ Cajuns fans will offer new avenues for their involvement with the football program and the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Foundation.
Premium suites include indoor private seating as well as available outdoor seating for suite holders and their guests. Other amenities include access to the climate-controlled club area, premium catered food and beverages, a cash bar with top-shelf alcohol, the ability to add additional food and drink, and a suite attendant to assist with game day needs.
Loge boxes feature private outdoor seating and come with access to premium parking. Club seats will be assigned outdoor seating with high-quality chairs with armrests and beverage holders. Patrons in the loge boxes and club seats will also have access to the club area and all of its amenities.
The club area will also serve as a dining facility for Louisiana’s more than 400 student-athletes throughout the year.
Additional plans for the project include a new videoboard, lights, sound system, renovated west side seating, new east side façade and operational and office spaces for Department of Athletics staff.
“Our long history of alignment with the University continues to evolve because our organizations share a collective vision towards a bright future for the Acadiana community we both serve,” market president for the Acadiana Region of Our Lady of Lourdes Kathy Healy-Collier said. “Our partnership energizes all of our constituents, whether that’s community service, economic investment or personal health. We’re elevating Acadiana’s regional profile, attracting new students and businesses and showcasing the Ragin’ Cajun spirit. I call that a prescription for championship health.”
Founded by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady in 1949, Our Lady of Lourdes is a regional acute care medical center focused on the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Lourdes is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, which is the largest locally-owned, not-for-profit health system in Louisiana.
The hospital employs more than 2,800 people and offers a physician staff of over 600 doctors in a variety of medical and surgical specialties. Lourdes’ services include Centers of Excellence in the areas of Orthopedics, Stroke and a Robotics Surgery Program. Lourdes is home to the only burn unit in Southwest Louisiana and a Commission on Cancer-accredited oncology program.
Our Lady of Lourdes operates Our Lady of Lourdes Heart Hospital, a premier 32-bed cardiac facility, and Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital, offering the area’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Level 3 Surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. With additional services including multiple clinics, four imaging locations and a primary care physician network, Lourdes provides easy access to comprehensive care throughout the community.
Since 1987, Our Lady of Lourdes has been a proud supporter of the University community and Acadiana. The relationship with Athletics expanded in 2007 when Lourdes became a member of the Louisiana Healthcare Alliance, a partnership that has continued to grow through first-class medical care and other gifts, such as Catapult wearable performance technology.
Ragin’ Cajuns Football concluded its 2020 season at No. 15 in the AP Coaches Top 25 Poll, the highest ranking in school history. Head football coach Billy Napier led the program to its first-ever back-to-back seasons of double-digit wins, recording season marks of 11-3 in 2019 and 10-1 in 2020.
“We are extremely excited about Our Lady of Lourdes’ level of commitment to this project,” Napier said. “This investment is a crucial part of the overall process of building our football program from both a recruiting and developmental standpoint. Our Lady of Lourdes is truly a member of the Ragin’ Cajuns Football family, and we are thrilled to continue forward with them as a close partner.”
Louisiana Football opens the 2021 season and the fourth year of the Napier era on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Texas. Kickoff in Austin is slated for 3:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
In total, six Ragin’ Cajuns games, four of which will be played at Cajun Field, have been selected for national broadcasts during the 2021 season. To view the team’s complete schedule, click here.
Fans are encouraged to secure tickets now, which includes six games at Cajun Field. More information can be obtained by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the CAJUNDOME, (337) 265-2170, or by visiting the office in-person.
The Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation is excited to announce reduced tailgating prices for the 2021 season. For more information on securing a tailgate or RV spot, call the RCAF office at (337) 851-7223 or email RCAF@louisiana.edu.
Photo caption: Cajun Field is home to Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Football.