Pontiff Playground

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Wally Pontiff Jr. Playground, formerly Metairie Playground, is a Jefferson Parish public playground located at 1521 Palm Street in Metairie, Louisiana.[1][2] It is Jefferson Parish's oldest public playground.[3]



The playground offers multiple baseball fields for team and recreational use.[4]


The gymnasium is used for basketball games, volleyball games and other recreational uses.

Cross country[edit]

The Pontiff Playground cross country course is a 3-mile/4.83km cross country course in and around Pontiff Playground.[5]


The playground has two football/soccer fields for team and recreational use.[4] The playground was the home football venue for the Metairie High School Yellowjackets from 1952 to 1954. The largest crowds were standing room only against Kenner High School in 1952 and against Behrman High School in 1954.


The playground offers multiple softball fields for team and recreational use.


Tennis is played at the Pontiff Playground tennis courts.[6]

Track and field[edit]

A running track used for track and field meets is located in the playground.[4]

Playground amenities[edit]

The playground contains six baseball diamonds, two football fields, one track, two tennis courts, and a gymnasium.[4] In addition to these sports facilities a spray fountain, meditation labyrinth, meeting center, picnic shelters, playground equipment, dog park and bird sanctuary are located in the facility.[7][8]



Development of Metairie Playground began in 1945, following the end of World War II and during a time of civic progress in Jefferson Parish.[9] The playground was dedicated in 1952.[9] The playground was renamed on June 28, 2003, in memory of Wally Pontiff, Jr., who played college baseball for Louisiana State University.[3] Pontiff played baseball in his youth at Metairie playground. Before an unexpected death at the age of 21, Pontiff was deciding whether to continue his career at LSU or to play for the Oakland Athletics after being drafted in the 21st round.

Effects of Hurricane Katrina[edit]

Pontiff Playground was flooded in August 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, which ruined the gymnasium. After the storm, Jefferson Parish built an earthen berm around it to hold water in future emergencies.[7]

Development Timeline[edit]

Date Action
1945 Development of Metairie Playground initiated[9]
1952 Dedication of Metairie Playground[9]
June 28, 2003 Dedication ceremony held at 10 a.m. renaming Metairie Playground the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Playground
August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina strikes New Orleans, severely damaging Pontiff Playground
July 31, 2007 The Friends of Pontiff Playground, Inc. announces reconstruction master plan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gisclair, S. Derby (2004). Baseball in New Orleans. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 1439612579.
  2. ^ "Pontiff Playground". bestofneworleans.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  3. ^ a b Campanella, Catherine (2013). Legendary Locals of Metairie. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 1467100609.
  4. ^ a b c d "Wally Pontiff Jr. Playground". pontiffbluedevils.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  5. ^ "Pontiff Playground CC". usatf.org. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  6. ^ "Pontiff Playground Tennis Courts". neworleansonline.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  7. ^ a b "A New Vision for Pontiff Playground". nola.com. Retrieved 2007-03-09.
  8. ^ "New dog park opens in Old Metairie". nola.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  9. ^ a b c d Bezou, Henry (1973). Metairie [A Tongue of Land to Pasture]. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 1565542797.

External Links[edit]

Official website

Coordinates: 29°58′45″N 90°08′23″W / 29.979075°N 90.139604°W / 29.979075; -90.139604