George Schroeder Weighs in on WMS

USA Today’s ( and ADG alum) George Schroeder weighs in on the future of Razorback football in the Capitol City. A decision on playing in WMS after 2018 appears to be imminent.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/n … 516039002/

Harry King essentially said the same thing about it being imminent in his column on the stadium yesterday: http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2018 … war-memor/

We’ve heard similar chatter, too. I expect there will be an announcement sometime in the next couple of months, and expect there to be a presence of some sort at the stadium moving forward. All of the momentum is in that direction.

Don’t you think they will wait until the SEC AD’s and such put out their minimum requirements, or whatever they wish to call it, for SEC venues?

The minimum requirements are that you need the ability of replay. That’s the only thing that really matters. I know someone who sat in on those meetings and the commissioner and SEC ADs told Arkansas to fix that and everything else doesn’t really matter.

The SEC just needs to have top replay facilities. I think what they need to fix that is more like $2 million. I bet that gets done.

So you feel the stadium will meet the requirements for visitors and officials dressing rooms that the USA Today article mentioned? That all of our SEC opponents will agree to play there? Or that they’ll just do the replay enhancements and schedule only non-profit conference games?

I think it will be a big waste of money, but they don’t care what I think. I just don’t want to here any complaining by certain BOT members about bond payments on the NEZ expansion, when they are leaving millions on the table.

Won’t just be non-conference games if they extend the deal. I predict Ole Miss and Miss St. would be okay with playing in WMS. Shorter trip for their fans.

So, you are good allocating 6000 visitors tickets in a 54,000 seat stadium vs 6000 in a 76,000 seat stadium? Do we know what the SEC minimum for visitors dressing rooms will be?

I’m good with playing in Littke Rock - I think it is in the best interest of the program and there is nothing you can say or write that will convince me otherwise. Pumped this great tradition is likely to continue. Thanks to Asa for helping drive this.

So, the fact that another 22,000 Razorback fans and students won’t have the opportunity to watch them in person means nothing? Sounds like the typical me only fan.

The reports - one by the university that was presented to the governor and trustees, and one commissioned by the stadium’s overseer - when combined stated the stadium could need up to $27 million to address a number of issues with the stadium and to keep it sustainable.

The minimum standards being discussed by the SEC address the following:

  • Size of the locker rooms

  • Room available for team meeting spaces

  • Dedicated post-game press conference rooms

  • The ability to provide secure access for teams to their locker rooms

  • Security cameras inside the stadium and a dedicated command center for security

Based on the UA’s cost analysis, those items would cost between $1.95 million and $3.3 million to correct at War Memorial. We’ll see if all of those standards are adopted at the SEC’s spring meeting next month.

Note that the minimum standards do not address replay, broadband or enhancements to the broadcast infrastructure, all of which are separate issues that have been discussed by the SEC and are going to need to be addressed at War Memorial.

I’m convinced that interested parties are going to make sure those improvements are made to keep the games there.

Just seems ridiculous to deny fans the opportunity to watch their team, but we are Arkansas, we’re known for making “questionable” decisions .

They need to expand the stadium. 50k in the center of the state isn’t enough. If they can’t, then keep them in Fayetteville.

I have no problem driving 4 hours every weekend. LR is 2, but I’d rather them have an acceptable venue to play in.

There is no reason to expand the stadium for one game a year, they’ll just leave 10,000 students at home, and 12,000 other Razorback fans outside, too.

They need to replace the turf, too.

There is no possible economic justification for adding seating capacity at WMS for one Hog game a year. There are tens of thousands of empty seats for any other football game which might be played there, and the place is a lousy venue for the handful of concerts that might draw something close to the current capacity for concerts.

It looks to me like the Gov is going to find a few million dollars to make some limited upgrades, the Hogs are going to sign a deal to play once a year there pretty much annually for some years to come, and part of the deal will be the occasional SEC game. I think it’s foolish, but that’s what I think is going to happen.

Yes, and an improved DAS network.

Yeah, but which questionable decision? To take games out of WMS or to leave them there? Both of them have their pros and cons, and it comes down to which cons you feel are less important.

You’re right.

While I loved the games in Little Rock, especially growing up, the older I get the more I realize it’s just not a good idea at this point.

Curious to know how much money we lose for a game in LR compared to Fayetteville.

Especially since last years Little Rock game maybe had 30k.

They say it’s not about money, but when we started playing games in LR, it was about the extra money in tickets and donations WMS generated over RS. Now that the money is much more in Fayetteville, it’s not about the money. I drive 4 1/2 hours to Fayetteville, I’ve always believed the games should be on campus for the students, and players. Again, I guess it’s more important for a few to get a local game, than the 22,000 who won’t be able to attend.

Well, the university said up to $4.7m using the expanded stadium numbers, but some “writers” say less, but it’s not about the “money”.