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What is TopGolf?

Note: The information below was pulled from our original informational email sent out in December 2023. Please disregard any outdated references.

TopGolf is a Dallas-based entertainment venue where people stand on a 3- or 4-level structure and hit golf balls out into a synthetic turf outfield. It’s like a multi-level driving range with music, food, and drinks. Its hours of operations are commonly 10am-11pm while some facilities are open 24 hours.

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Here are some specs on the project:

  • The building alone is 67k square feet, with the building, parking lot, and adjacent outfield occupying a footprint larger than the Smoothie King Center.
     

  • The building will be on Euterpe, from the lake side of Tchoupitoulas to the back side of The Saulet (see the site plan below).
     

  • The outfield will run along the lake side of Tchoupitoulas and be about two football fields long, running from Euterpe past the current Melpomene.
     

  • The netting surrounding the field will be 175 feet tall, the equivalent of a 15-story building, adjacent to The Saulet, which is four stories tall. For context, the iconic Market Street Power Plant smoke stacks are roughly that tall.  The netting will be visible for miles around in the same way the smoke stacks are, changing the neighborhood skyline.
     

  • There will be stadium lighting to illuminate part or all of the outfield area at night.
     

  • There will be a 470-space surface parking lot at the downtown end of the complex, bounded by Melpomene, Annunciation, Thalia, the Hwy 90 ramps, and Tchoupitoulas.

Vision

This project is explicitly permitted by right with the relaxed zoning and lack of community input facilitated by the controversial River District Text Amendment that passed January 5, 2023, which includes a specific clause allowing netting and poles 175 feet tall for “outdoor amusement or sports facilities,” despite the fact that TopGolf had not been mentioned publicly as part of the River District at the time of Text Amendment passage. There was an NPP – Neighborhood Participation Program – meeting with TopGolf developers in May of this year, which is a City-mandated opportunity for residents to interact directly with developers to learn about a proposed project. NPP meetings are a good idea in principle, but occasionally are just a box for developers to check in the approval process … NPP meetings do not necessarily change the trajectory of a project, and developers are certainly not obligated to change their plans if residents are unhappy.

 

The May NPP meeting was well attended, and conversation focused mostly on the building along Euterpe. The developers provided no specific information about the outfield area, height of netting, etc. There was a lot of “we’ll have to get back to you on that.”  We have requested another meeting with the developers but, so far, they are not cooperating.

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A Little Perspective

Our purpose in sending this email is, first, to inform LGDA membership and neighbors about a highly impactful project on the edge of our neighborhood.  Second, it is to encourage you to raise your voice in this civic discourse. The most prevalent concerns we have heard over the last several months are height of netting, size of the outfield, lighting, and proximity to residential property. Whether you’re for this project or against it, please recognize that it will be highly impactful.

 

It is worth noting that despite assurances from TopGolf developers, the netting and lighting have allegedly had far-reaching negative impacts in many communities around the country. The lights have created safety concerns and disruption for drivers and residents in places like Ft. Myers, Florida, Louisville, Kentucky, and Boise, Idaho. It also increases light pollution that impacts animal and insect species, (does anyone even know how this may affect the springtime Formosan swarms?), while the netting has caused the injury and death of local and migratory birds. The environmental concern is so great that organizations like the Audubon Society and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have expressed "serious concern" for TopGolf facilities proposed in other areas.

Four Ways to Be Heard

Let city, state, and corporate leadership know you care about transparency, housing, corporations paying their fair share, and the unique fabric of New Orleans' neighborhoods. Let them know New Orleans deserves an opportunity to voice their opposition to the TopGolf development. 

Write to the City Council directly ASAP before the April 4th vote
Send An Email >

SHOw up April 4

Attend the City Council Meeting Thursday, April 4 beginning at 10am 

"I strongly oppose because a Top Golf is not a suitable tenant and does not
complement the historic nature of this neighborhood. When the development group first presented at a town hall meeting in 2022, they stated that this location would consist of an apartment complex with a grocery store and a gym, not a Top Golf. Classic bate (sic) and switch."

excerpt from long form answer lgd neighborhood survey

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