Red Bull Terminal Takeover Transforms Abandoned MSY Airport into the Ultimate Skatepark
Skaters from Across the South Give “Now Boarding” New Meaning
New Orleans, Louisiana – Skaters are known to look at everyday objects through the lens of what could be done on a board. The ordinary traveler sees a dull baggage claim, where a skateboarder sees a prime ledge. On May 1-2, five crews each comprised of 4-5 skaters and 1 filmer representing TN, AL, FL and LA met up at the old MSY Terminal for the ultimate skate jam and content capture sessions.
Red Bull Terminal Takeover transformed the former New Orleans airport into three custom-built parks, creating a dream destination for skateboarding. The abandoned terminal took on new life as skaters slid, grabbed and grinded iconic airport features, giving the aged facility an edgy upgrade.
“We spend so much of our lives in airports as pro skaters,” said Red Bull athlete Jake Wooten. “We take four-hour layovers and daydream about what could be done on our boards. I look at stairs and rails. They’re the smallest architectural features but a skate spot is all I see,” he said. “The fact that Red Bull was able to make it happen and turn an old airport into a park is like something out of a video game.”
The active runway overlooking the new world-class terminal at MSY served as the panoramic backdrop for takeoffs, landings and maneuvers of a different kind. Over the course of two days, New York Design and Construction (NYDAC) converted the once abandoned airport into a lively park, featuring three unique course designs and features conducive to different styles of riding.
The parabola was the hero location with its stunning pre-existing architecture. The NYDAC build team modified the escalators for skaters to roll down, added a simple but technical A-frame with a rail, custom-built a 6ft quarter pipe channel gap and designed a vertical wall set against the iconic mid-century glass arch.
The baggage claim section brought every skater’s video game fantasy to life, as the carousel covered in plywood created a space for the sport to go where hasn’t gone before. Carpet and rubber were no match for the build team, who added rails, ledges and ramps – transforming the monotonous belt system into a playground for imagination, complete with rideable kiosks and countertops.
Concourse D mimicked a runway built for speed, offering skaters a long hallway and a smooth surface for pushing. The five skate crews each made creative use of the edge ramps, island piece and any nearby objects worth riding – including print newspaper boxes, trash cans and luggage props.
“I was really excited for the opportunity to have people from New Orleans experience something like this because it doesn’t happen often here,” said Phil Santosusso, owner of Humidity Skate Shop in the French Quarter. “New Orleans typically gets skipped because our city is small compared to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. To be able to give that opportunity to the crews here was amazing.”
Each of the five participating teams will submit a two-minute video compilation for a fan-sourced vote on redbull.com later this month. The winning crew will receive a $5000 prize toward their local skate scene.
Media Contact: Nicole Swickle – 310.463.8607 – [email protected]
- Credit: Jonathan Mehring/Red Bull Content Pool (for photos labeled Mehring)
- Credit: Justen Williams/Red Bull Content Pool (for photos labeled JW)
Social tags: @redbullskate @redbullUSA #RedBullTerminalTakeover