Shrine on Airline
|Former names||Zephyr Field (1997–2016)|
|Location||6000 Airline Drive
Metairie, Louisiana 70003
|Owner||State of Louisiana|
|Operator||New Orleans Baby Cakes Baseball Club, LLC.|
|Field size||Left Field: 330 feet (100 m)
Center Field: 400 feet (120 m)
Right Field: 330 feet (100 m)
|Broke ground||November 30, 1995|
|Opened||April 11, 1997|
|Construction cost||US$26 million|
|Architect||Populous (then HOK Sport)
ARCHITECTS PLUS (2006 Hurricane Katrina Restorations)
|Project manager||The Tobler Company|
|Structural engineer||Kulkarni Consultants|
|General contractor||Joseph Caldarera & Company|
|New Orleans Baby Cakes (PCL) (1997–present)
New Orleans Storm (USISL) (1998–1999)
Tulane Green Wave (NCAA) (2006–2007)
Conference USA Baseball Tournament (1998, 2001)
Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament (1999)
Shrine on Airline, formerly known as Zephyr Field, is a 10,000-seat baseball park in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, that hosted its first regular season baseball game on April 11, 1997, as the tenants of the facility, the New Orleans Baby Cakes (then known as the New Orleans Zephyrs), defeated the Oklahoma City 89ers, 8-3.
The ballpark hosted the 1998 and 2001 Conference USA Baseball Tournaments, and the 1999 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament. Shrine on Airline was also the site of the Class 5A Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) baseball tournament in 2004 and 2005. The facility also hosts LHSAA football games, concerts and events.
In addition to being the home of the Baby Cakes, the stadium, known as Zephyr Field from 1997 to 2016, also hosts select games of the Tulane University Green Wave baseball program. The team plays annual games against cross-town rival, the University of New Orleans Privateers, and arch-rival, Louisiana State University Tigers, at the ballpark. During the 2006 and 2007 baseball seasons, Zephyr Field was the primary home of the Green Wave, as Tulane's on-campus facility, Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, was undergoing renovations. The renovations were scheduled to be completed in time for the 2006 season, but Hurricane Katrina significantly damaged Turchin Stadium, forcing a delay in the project. In the hurricane's aftermath, Zephyr Field was utilized by the Louisiana Army National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a rescue facility. In 2006, the state of Louisiana approved $21 million to recover Zephyr Field from the effects of Katrina. Additional funds from the bill covered recovery costs for the New Orleans Saints' training facility, located behind the ballpark, and the New Orleans Arena.
The stadium hosted the 1999 Triple-A All-Star Game in which the Pacific Coast League All-Stars defeated the International League All-Stars, 9–5. New Orleans' Daryle Ward was selected as the PCL MVP.
The Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic college baseball game has been held annually at the Shrine on Airline since 2004. The LSU Tigers baseball team plays an opponent in the game to honor the former Metairie resident, LSU Baseball player and Oakland A's draftee, Wally Pontiff Jr., who died at the age of 21 from a genetic heart disorder. In 2004, LSU won the first game of the series vs. Southeastern Louisiana, 9-3.
The ballpark is featured in several scenes in the 2004 movie Mr. 3000, and one from the 2006 movie called Failure to Launch. Also, part of an episode of Spike TV's Pros vs Joes was also filmed at the ballpark.
A new playing surface was installed prior to the 2008 season. Its new dimensions are 330 feet (100 m) from home plate to left and right fields, and 400 feet (120 m) to center. The ballpark traditionally has allowed some of the fewest home runs in the Pacific Coast League. The ballpark's grass berm seating area, "the Levee", is located beyond center field and is the highest point in Metairie.
The New Orleans Baby Cakes added an extra $5 million to the 2006 state-funded recovery bill for additional amenities, including 16 luxury suites, a swimming pool, two hot tubs, the Coors Light Party Shack, and the Metairie Bank Home Run Porch.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush speaking at the Shrine on Airline (then Zephyr Field) in 2001
- "Work Begins on Ballpark in New Orleans Site Preparations for Arena Near Superdome Under Way". The Dallas Morning News. December 1, 1995. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "Clients". The Tobler Company. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "New Orleans Zepyhrs Baseball Stadium". Kulkarni Consultants. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Commercial Construction". Joseph Caldarera & Company. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "About Zephyr Field". Minor League Baseball. January 23, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Triple-A All-Star Game Results (1998–2002)". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- "New Orleans Zephyrs History". Minor League Baseball. January 30, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic is poignant LSU tradition". lsureveille.com. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
- "Wally Pontiff, Jr". .baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
- Gladow, David (February 25, 2008). "New Turf to Be Installed at Zephyr Field This Week". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "1998 Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup". Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup. 1998. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- Merzbach, Brian (2008). "Zephyr Field". Ballpark Reviews. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
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|Events and tenants|
|Home of the
New Orleans Baby Cakes
1997 – present