September 28, 2023

Everything you need to know: 46th Annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans

Thanksgiving Weekend in New Orleans Goes to the Tigers and Jaguars

Schedule of Events:

NEW ORLEANS –The Bayou Classic returns to New Orleans for its 46th year with its series of fan and family-friendly events throughout the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. Each year, this weekend of events brings together family, friends and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to see one of America’s greatest college sports rivalries and celebrate football, family and the traditions surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

“What we want everyone to do is EXPERIENCE THE POWER of the Bayou Classic. We welcome fans, families, alumni and visitors to experience the best of the classics at this year’s 46th anniversary celebration of the Number One HBCU Classic in the nation,” says Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI), the management firm of the Bayou Classic.

SWAC West divisional champion: The Southern Jaguars will face the Grambling Tigers in a contest that will declare the SWAC West divisional champion. The winner of this year’s Bayou Classic will advance to the SWAC championship game on Saturday, December 7, 2019.

Bayou Classic Ambassador: Comedian, actress and television host Sheryl Underwood has been named an ambassador of the 46th Annual Bayou Classic. Best known as the co-host of the Emmy-award-winning, CBS-television-show “The Talk,” Underwood is committed to using her visibility and influence in positive ways. She is Founder & Chief Executive Officer of the Pack Rat Foundation for Education (PRFFE, 501c3) and is currently raising money to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the students committed to pursuing a higher education.

Official Airlines: American Airlines has been named the Official Airline of the 46th Annual Bayou Classic.

Traveling Bands: Each year, Southern University and Grambling State University recognize young talent outside of Louisiana and bring in high school marching bands to participate each year in the weeklong series of events celebrating the Bayou Classic. This program recognizes high school bands from outside of Louisiana, and allows them the opportunity to march in the Bayou Classic Parade in New Orleans (this year on Saturday, November 30, 2019). This year Bayou Classic welcomes:

  • The Kansas City Marching Cobras, from Kansas City, Mo., who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary
  • The United Fulton County Marching Band, from Atlanta, Ga. is mix of three high schools that will march and play as one – Langston Hughes High School, Tri-Cities High School and Liberty Point Elementary.
  • East Nashville Magnet High School from Nashville, Tenn.

BizTech Challenge: The BizTech Challenge, presented by Louisiana Economic Development, is an educational and interactive program that teaches currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students how to apply what they’re learning inside the classroom to solve real-world problems. With the end user in mind, student teams are charged with designing a technology that solves a problem in the marketplace and creating a successful business model around that technology. Team members have the opportunity to interact with industry professionals and business owners, which can potentially lead to internship and employment opportunities. Five teams are chosen from submission of their business plans to attend the Bayou Classic and pitch their business in front of a live audience and a panel of expert judges for a chance at up to $10,000.

Largest HBCU Classic in the Nation: Bayou Classic is the largest HBCU Classic in the nation with more than 67,000 attendees at the game.
Visitors to New Orleans: Bayou Classic brings more than 200,000 visitors to New Orleans annually.
Hotel occupancy: Bayou Classic annually delivers a total citywide occupancy of more than 90 percent.
Ticket sales: Ticket sales for the 46th Annual Bayou Classic to date are higher than final totals of last year’s ticket sales.
Bayou Classic Telecast: The 46th Annual Bayou Classic will be televised live on NBC Sports Network starting at 4 pm CST on Saturday, November 30. The Bayou Classic has been nationally televised since 1991.


Friday, November 29
Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge: 1:00 pm
Presented Louisiana Economic Development
Hyatt Regency New Orleans
Honoring Bayou Classic’s commitment to technology, the Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge is back for the fourth year in a row. Out of 11 registered teams from three Historically Black Colleges and Universities, five finalists will present their comprehensive business plans on Friday. The winning teams, selected by a panel of expert judges, will be presented with a cash prize of $10,000 before the Bayou Classic kicks-off on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Battle of the Bands and Greek Show: 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:00 pm
Greek Show presented by Be the Match; Battle of the Bands presented by USMC
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
NOTE: Media credentials needed to attend this event.

Approximately 32,000 people will be at the show, as the Southern and Grambling’s historic marching bands strut across the Superdome in a colorful showdown that is the highlight of The Bayou Classic weekend for many attendees. Kicking it up a notch this year, attendees will experience a bigger production, more lighting, and a new stage design. The Greek show will feature creative skits from traditionally black Greek organizations across Louisiana. Battle of the Bands and Greek Show sold out last year and projections are for it to continue with a sellout crowd.

The Battle of the Bands will also have a special appearances by the US Marine Corps and professional wrestler Thaddeus “Titus” Michael Bullard Sr.

Saturday, November 30
Doc Grigg’s 2x Around the Dome: 8:00 am
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
The Doc Griggs 2X’s Around the Dome Family Fitness Fun Walk encourages the community to “Get Checked. Get Fit. Get Moving!” by walking twice around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome while showcasing historical landmarks in New Orleans. The event demonstrates to more than 500 attendees that exercise can be fun while highlighting the importance of health, fitness and wellness through a variety of exercises such as Zumba, Hula Hooping, Second Line Dancing instruction and bicycling.

Annual Bayou Classic Parade: 9:30 am start time
Presented by Cricket Wireless
The Annual Bayou Classic Parade continues this year in traditional, New Orleans fashion with 13 floats and more than 45 total units.

The Grand Marshall for this year’s Bayou Classic Parade is Bayou Classic Ambassador, Sheryl Underwood of “The Talk.” Joining Underwood is the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell. Parade goers will also be able to catch commemorative 46th Annual Bayou Classic cups and medallion beads.

NOTE: Parade route changed due to the ongoing closures along Canal Street
Route details: Parade begins on Elysian Fields Avenue at N. Peters Street; proceeds down N. Peters St onto and onto Tchoupitoulas Street; turns right on Poydras Street;; turns right on Loyola Avenue; parade ends at Duncan Plaza located on Loyola Avenue at Perdido Street.

Bayou Classic Fan Festival: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Presented by Cox
Champions Square at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
An extremely popular pre-game celebration where live musical performances and entertainment get the crowd warmed up for the game. Schedule of performances for this year include:

  • Choppa Style
  • Tonya Boyd Cannon
  • Sherwppd Marty
  • Mista Cain & Scotty Cain
  • Roca B
  • Denisia
  • Fresh X Reckless
  • Mecca Notes
  • Young Juve
  • International T
  • King Bronze

And there will be special appearances by Lamman Rucker, Curren$y and E40.

Fan Fest attendees will also enjoy sponsor activations and special giveaways throughout the event, including BET+, Verizon, Honey Jack Daniels, Minute Maid, CityGear and Be the Match.

The 46th Annual Bayou Classic Game: 4:00 pm (doors open at 2:30 pm)
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
NOTE: Media credentials needed to attend this event.

More than 200,000 people come to New Orleans for the Bayou Classic weekend, and more than 60,000 make their way to the Bayou Classic game. The Bayou Classic commemorates historically black colleges and universities, academic achievement, tradition, sportsmanship, marching bands, and friendly competition. The “Classic” is an exhibition of the high standards of academic achievement deeply embedded in the traditions of the two institutions – Grambling State University and Southern University.

Other game highlights:
National anthem: Tonya Boyd-Cannon and the New Orleans City-Wide Youth Choir will perform the National Anthem at this year’s Bayou Classic.

Tickets still available
Tickets are still available for purchase through Ticketmaster or the Bayou Classic official website,

For more information, download the official Bayou Classic Mobile App, follow Bayou Classic on social media or visit

About The Bayou Classic
The Bayou Classic ( ) features one of America’s greatest college sports rivalries, bringing the fans and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to New Orleans for a celebration of football, family and the traditions and pageantry surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Proceeds from the annual series of Bayou Classic events provide support to the campuses’ athletic programs and fund scholarships through the SU System Foundation and the GSU Foundation. The 46th Annual Bayou Classic will be played on Saturday, November 30, 2019.

Ticket Information
Tickets for the 46th Annual Bayou Classic and the Battle of the Bands & Greek Show are on sale now. Tickets for both events can be purchased at the following locations: the Bayou Classic website (, Ticketmaster, the New Orleans Arena Box Office, the Grambling State University Ticket Office or the Southern University Ticket Office.

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required
Scroll to Top