McNeese breaks ground on return of Lake Charles landmark after Hurricane Laura

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McNeese broke ground on a new press box for Cowboy Stadium today. Much of southwest Louisiana was devastated by Hurricanes Delta and Laura in 2020. The former press box like much of the Lake Charles area sustained significant damages and a complete overhaul was required. Now, three years later, Director of facilities Kevin Martin said they’ve completed the long process to organize funding from 4 separate sources and get the project underway.

“Between FEMA and insurance we got about 12 million dollars from them. Then we have also what they call 428 funds which is what we call lagniappe money that comes after a storm like that.”

The updated box is set to be over 28,000 square feet and extend goal line to goal line. The state-of-the-art facility will boast 25 suites and a 17-hundred square foot sky club and open patio area that Martin said will allow it to function as more than just a press box.

“Not only will it be functional on game days, but it will be functional year-round to where we can have functions and have revenue coming in from that building.”

For the Lake Charles area, though, Martin said this project is about more than just a football stadium. Recovery from Hurricane Laura has taken longer than expected for many, but Martin said the new box will be a return of a local landmark and symbol of progress for many in the area.

“We’ve always said that that press box was kind of a beacon in Lake Charles. You could always look and see that in the sky and always know where you’re at at any given time. It just kind of represented Lake Charles as a whole.”

The box is expected to open for the 2025 season.

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