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    Bayou Classic TV agreement with NBCSN extended through 2021

    NBC Sports Group, Grambling State University, and Southern University have reached an agreement to extend their three-decade partnership for three more years, keeping the annual Bayou Classic on NBCSN through 2021.

    Since 1991, NBC Sports has served as the exclusive home of the Bayou Classic, an annual college football tradition featuring Grambling State University and Southern University that is played on Thanksgiving weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. At the end of this new extension, NBC Sports will have televised 31 Bayou Classics.

    The 2018 game will mark the 45th consecutive meeting between the Tigers and Jaguars, a rivalry that originated in 1974. The first-ever Bayou Classic, won 21-0 by Grambling, was played in New Orleans’ Tulane Stadium.

    “The Bayou Classic is a college football staple, and one we’re proud to have broadcast for three decades at the end of this agreement,” said Gary Quinn, vice president of programming and owned properties with NBC Sports Group. “We look forward to showcasing this annual Thanksgiving tradition for the next three years to avid college football fans across the country on NBCSN.”

    The Grambling Tigers lead the overall series, 23-21, and have won three consecutive games, including seven of the past 10 meetings overall. Over the course of 44 years, the Bayou Classic has featured some of the most prominent figures in college football history, including NFL Hall of Fame defensive back and Southern alum Aeneas Williams, Super Bowl-winning quarterback and Grambling alum Doug Williams and former Tigers head coach Eddie Robinson, whose 408 career wins rank third all-time in NCAA Division I history.

    The annual telecast of the Bayou Classic is headlined by the renowned “Battle of the Bands” halftime show, which pits the marching bands of both Southern University and Grambling State against each other in a musical display of talent.

    The game is also streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

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    Bayou Classic Ranked Number One HBCU Classic

    The numbers have spoken. Bayou Classic enters its 45th year as the number one ranked HBCU Classic. With 66,550 attendees in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the November 25, 2017, battle on the gridiron between Grambling State University and Southern University, the attendance numbers surpassed their top four HBCU Classic competitors. Also on the list were Magic City Classic (#2 with 61,221 attendees), State Fair Classic (#3 with 55,231 attendees), Florida Classic (#4 with 47,819 attendees), and Southern Heritage Classic (#5 with 47,407 attendees).

    This ranking comes with another number one spot, as the Bayou Classic also topped the attendance rankings of the top 35 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) games played in 2017.bayou classic

    The ranking should ignite pride and excitement amongst longtime Bayou Classic fans and newcomers. “As we look to the future of Bayou Classic, the possibilities are limitless. Building off this momentum, we hope to engage a larger fan base and provide even more opportunities to students, fans, and alumni.,” says Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of the Bayou Classic’s management company, NOCCI.

    Since 2011 when NOCCI took over as the Bayou Classic’s management company, the game experienced a 63.4% increase in overall attendance. The Bayou Classic has come a long way and hopes to hold on to that number one spot for years to come

    The 2018 Bayou Classic Game will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2018, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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  • Children’s book brings Bayou Classic tradition into every home

    ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that will resonate with Bayou Classic revelers will be released for limited distribution just in time for this year’s game next week.

    Lafayette author, educator, and school librarian, Andrea A. Brew is a second generation graduate of Southern  University, where her parents met. Inspired by her childhood experiences at the game coupled with countless pastimes as a college student, Brew has crafted a story many times experienced, but never told, until now.

    Read ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic and find out what happens on the eve of the Bayou Classic, when a family of Southern University fans, filled with anticipation and blue-and-gold spirit, gets an unexpected visitor at their door.

    With more than 250,000 revelers converging on the Crescent City and nearly $55 million generated annually, the Bayou Classic is not only a tourist event. It has become a nationally touted tradition appealing to a cross generational demographic, celebrities in all facets of mainstream media and pop culture, as well as major corporations, which also includes NBC’s continued simulcast in support of the big game.
    For more than four decades famed HBCUs, Southern University and A&M College and Grambling State University have ushered in the holiday season with their annual weekend of events and festivities.

    Starting Thanksgiving Day with a parade in Downtown New Orleans, the festivities include a greek show, awards ceremonies, job fair, empowerment seminars, the Battle of the Bands and the grand finale of Louisiana Black college football—The Bayou Classic. For those who have attended the universities, this game bookmarks a rich and storied cultural experience that current and past students continue to celebrate with friends and family from generation to generation

    With Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic, Brew extends homage to the tradition in literary form.
    “The tradition of Bayou Classic for Grambling, Southern and Louisiana is a storied one–one that inspired me to write,” Brew said.

    In Baton Rouge, the book is available at Top Choice Products, 1492 Harding Blvd, (225) 775-5247.

    Online: www.andreabrew.com

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    N.O. issues Bayou Classic parking, traffic instructions

    The City of New Orleans issued parking instructions and reminders in advance of events for the 2015 Bayou Classic. The public is encouraged to be patient and to prepare for heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the specified areas by making transportation arrangements accordingly.

    Battle of the Bands

    On Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Battle of the Bands will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. There are no street closures for this event. Traffic will be regulated by detailed officers around the Superdome.

    2015 Bayou Classic Football Game

    On Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 at 1:30 p.m., the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will host the 2015 Bayou Classic Football Game. There are no street closures for this event. Traffic will be regulated by detailed officers around the Superdome.

    Parking enforcement personnel will be monitoring for illegal parking, including blocking hydrants, driveways and sidewalks, or parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection or stop signs. Motorists are also reminded to park in the direction of travel on one-way streets, and with the right wheel to the curb on two-way streets.

    In addition, RTA services, including streetcar and bus service may be interrupted during these events. Details on route changes are available at www.norta.com.

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    Tips offered for a safe Bayou Classic experience

    Louisiana highway safety officials are reminding thousands of fans driving to New Orleans for the 40th Annual Bayou Classic football game and the Battle of the Bands that Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the most risky periods for traveling on the state’s roads.

    “Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily traveled holidays in Louisiana and the nation,” said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.  “When the normal Thanksgiving traffic combines with the tens of thousands of visitors to New Orleans for Bayou Classic events over a long weekend, the potential for congestion and crashes is significantly increased.”

    Last year, over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday, there were 689 injuries and five deaths in vehicle crashes in Louisiana.  Blacks accounted for over one-third of the 2013 Louisiana highway crash deaths.

    Last year, more than half of the people killed in crashes in Louisiana were not wearing seat belts. Of the 140 Black drivers killed in Louisiana crashes, 61 percent were not properly wearing seat belts. Although a 2013 survey found that seat belt use reached a record high in Louisiana, with 82.5 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers buckling up, the 77.4 percent of Black drivers and front-seat passengers who buckled up was below the state average for all drivers and passengers.

    The Commission has provided grants to law enforcement agencies and State Police to participate in this year’s Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign, which runs from Nov. 22 to Nov. 30. Local agencies use the grant money to conduct additional overtime patrols and checkpoints during the holiday period.

    “The Bayou Classic is a popular event that brings together friends and families from across Louisiana and many other states,” LeBlanc said. “We want everybody to make this an enjoyable and safe event.”

    The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission offers the following trips for safe travel:
    - Arrange for a designated driver, call a cab or use other public transportation if you have been drinking alcohol.
    - Buckle your seat belts. Louisiana law requires drivers and front and rear-seat passengers to wear their seat belts when a vehicle is in motion.
    - Avoid driver distractions. State law prohibits drivers from texting and using social media.
    - Drive within designated speed limits.

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