I know Baum is still a beautiful stadium, and one of the best in the SEC, but just wondering if there are any scheduled upgrades to make it even better.
Scheduled?? No, not really, but there is a wish list.
I don’t know for sure, but I believe an update of Walton Arena is in line ahead of any upgrades at Baum. Neither will happen until after the football stadium expansion is wrapped up.
To be honest, the next upgrades for Baum can happen quickly if this team goes on a big run in June. That will spark some things that Van Horn has asked about. The first thing will be an upgrade to the club house and training facilities. Nothing has been done there in about 15 years. It’s OK, but needs some modern additions. I would guess that some of the other things talked about could happen, too. Seats in right field and a way to go all the way around the stadium could happen. Win and everything happens.
Unfortunately, Baum Stadium is being passed by several SEC teams with new stadiums or upgrades. Hunter Yurachek has always been around good baseball programs and will do what it takes to keep Van Horn happy. I know for a fact that Van Horn is happy with the arrival of Yurachek.
Thanks, Clay. Sounds promising!
I’ve heard recently that Arkansas would like to build a new clubhouse/weight room on the first base side of the stadium, the same side as the indoor facility. Then the Razorbacks would switch from the third base dugout to the one on the first base side.
It will be interesting to see which facility is targeted for renovation next, Bud Walton or Baum? The Baum expansion addresses the need for more suites. There are 32 in the stadium now with a waiting list of 43. There has not been any turnover within those suites since 2009.
The Bud Walton wish list addresses the desire to host more events there during the basketball off-season. At one point I thought there might be some more suites added to the top of the arena, but this season’s attendance shot down the notion that it wouldn’t sellout anymore on a consistent basis. Plus, there were five suites that were not sold there this year.
Thanks Matt, and for all the feedback. Personally, I hope they address Baum Stadium sooner than later. I don’t know how the cost analysis or return on investment would indicate which is priority over the other, but I sure would like to see Baum Stadium take priority. Just my personal preference.
I don’t see the BOT giving the OK for any bond issues related to sports anytime soon. If someone, or multiple someone’s pony up the money for expansions, then yes. UAMS is about to cause major problems for the system and credit ratings, unless something is done real soon.
I spent the first 8 years of my medical career working for Texas’ version of UAMS, and part of the reason I left is that it became obvious that major cutbacks were in the works due to reduced support from the Texas Legislature. Which is exactly what is happening now with UAMS. And UAMS’ situation is about to get worse because Arkansas is cutting back on Medicaid, which means thousands of people who now are covered under Medicaid will have no health coverage at all. But those people still need medical care, and a lot of them will get that care at UAMS at the taxpayer’s expense.
Hard to say which facility project would bring a bigger bang for the buck. According to a survey of SEC baseball programs by the Baton Rouge newspaper last year, our current suites at Baum go for $11,000 to $23,000 per year. Not sure how many suites would be added under the expansion plan Jeff Long unveiled, but it would be quite a few.
I’m not sure what they have planned for BWA would do much in terms of basketball income, but it would improve their ability to use it for other things like concerts, which would be another source of revenue. And I suspect they might find a way to add a few more suites or club seats along the way as well.
The master plan that was created a few years ago now showed plans for putting loge boxes in one end of the lower bowl, with some club seating on the other end. Plus adding a new concourse around the existing concourse on 3 sides. What we know now as the concession stand areas would then have a concourse built behind them, with new concessions added as well as more restrooms.
That is interesting in that, as I recall, one of the big deals they made about BWA when it was built was that it WOULD NOT be used for anything other than basketball, other than a yearly Wal-Mart share holders meeting. I know things change (and it doesn’t bother me at all that they want to use if for more things). I am thinking the addition of a practice facility makes using BWA for more things easier? (Events won’t get in the way of the basketball teams).
There is no doubt the practice facility makes it easier to have events there. The practice facility and upgrade to Bud Walton were listed in the same master plan, so I figure the thought was that they would work off one another.
The UA has started to host some off-season stuff at Bud Walton. For instance, a couple of weeks ago Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave a public lecture there. The goal is to do more of those type events, plus concerts. There needs to be a lot of work done to back of house areas to host concerts. The loading ramp is only big enough for one 18-wheeler, whereas most concerts now require space for at least three for load ins.
I would like to see a large wall built out behind Right filed to maybe block some of the wind that is blowing in most of the time.don’t know if it would help but wouldn’t hurt.
The suite expansion detailed in the master plan would do that to some degree.
Would make absolutely no difference. Those suites in the artwork aren’t very high off the ground. No higher than the suites behind home plate. Does that structure block the wind when it’s blowing out to right? Not a bit. Maybe it would help a tiny bit on some of those laser shots that never get more than 20 feet off the ground, but there aren’t many of those.
I was thinking of a much higher wall to be honest but if they are thinking of doing what Matt has shown it not going to happen.
It’s exciting to me to see the facilities changes I’ve seen over the years. The biggest ones were the building of BWA (although the transformation of the old Barnhill Fieldhouse into Barnhill Arena was amazing) and the 2000 renovation of RRS. Baum Stadium ranks up there, too. However, I never attended any games there after it was first built. It’s the expansions that have made it what it is. I’d love to see the stands wrap around right field & a 360 degree concourse.
The current addition to RRS is big time as well. I love the look & feel it will give.
I’m sure we’ll never stop growing & expanding. I just hope I live long enough to see more & more.
If they stick with the plan for Baum as depicted in that artwork, the deck of suites in right would preclude any grandstands or bleachers in that area, unless they moved the bullpen into the corner as they do in Dodger Stadium and put seating where the bullpen is now. The gaps next to the foul poles are the bullpens, and there is a concourse above/behind them: