Commentary: Time to end the Great Stadium Debate
According to an article at arkansasonline.com, War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock is considering expanding in the hopes that the University of Arkansas will continue to pay them for the privilege of playing there a couple of times each year.
According to stadium manager, Charles Staggs, the stadium commission is “looking at something to see if we can entice them to stay here,”
Among the ideas being floated around, adding high-priced club seating and expanding the press box.
I applaud War Memorial for the work they’ve done on the stadium the past few years and for considering even more upgrades, but the hard truth is it’s probably too little too late and the common sense thing to do for the University of Arkansas is to move all games to Fayetteville.
Here’s the thing (for those who continue to complain that Central Arkansas is so special that it’s unfair to move games from Little Rock)…
The University loses money every single game they play in that dump of a stadium. In addition to the $75,000 the UA pays to play in War Memorial per game, they also lose concession money and have 19,000 fewer tickets to sell (War Memorial can only hold 53,000 – Razorback Stadium holds 72,000.. ). Add in travel expenses (fuel, hotel rooms, etc) and it doesn’t take a math major to figure out the UA is losing money playing games in Little Rock.
Not to mention, games at War Memorial are not considered home games by the NCAA and so the Hogs lose two games per season they could be hosting recruits if the games were in Fayetteville.
But Scott, what about all that Central Arkansas money? If the Hogs stop playing games there, they’ll lose those big donors in Little Rock!
Really? Are these big donors so full of themselves they’d throw tantrums and give up their luxury suites in Fayetteville and stop supporting the university if the Hogs stopped playing in Little Rock? I just don’t see that happening. There may be one or two who withhold making donations for a year or two, but they’ll be back. Come on, who else are they going to support? Arkansas State? P-lease.
It’s time to put the great stadium debate to rest once and for all and for all the games to be moved to Fayetteville. It just makes sense. Anyone who supports keeping games in Little Rock has only their own selfish motives for doing so. Sure, it’s more convenient for those of us in the southern part of the state to drive to Little Rock than it is to drive to Fayetteville. True, there are some who only go to games in the Rock because of this. But, we fans should be more interested in doing what’s best for our favorite university. It should be obvious to most, it’s in the Razorbacks best interest to tell War Memorial “thanks for the memories” and move forward.