The final year of the contract is 2024. I don’t think anyone knows yet what is going to happen at that time, but I suspect Texas A&M will not want to continue the series in Arlington. The Aggies’ last two ADs have lamented the loss of a home game every other year. If Texas A&M opts out, then Arkansas will have to choose whether or not it wants to continue having an annual presence there. I’ve always thought the Southwest Classic could one day become an Arkansas game vs. a rotating cast of former SWC teams.
There is also the Little Rock component. The War Memorial contract ends the same year as the Arlington contract. That was intentional. It will give the administration at that time an opportunity to assess the schedule moving forward. I would be surprised to see games in Arlington and Little Rock in the same season after 2023.
I’d be surprised to see games in LR and Arlington period, moving forward. At best, you’ll see a game in LR one year, and a game in Arlington the next. I’ll also be surprised to see WM make it to the 2024 game with the current contract stipulations as they are.
I get what you’re saying, but I think Arkansas will end up playing all three of the scheduled games in Little Rock, then decide on the future of games there after the 2023 Missouri game. Based on what I remember about the contract, missing the benchmarks (ticket revenue, sales, etc.) gives the Razorbacks the ability to pull out of playing at War Memorial, but there is also language about the two sides coming together to put in place plans that will help them hit the benchmarks the next game.
What about the improvements, aren’t they included in the contract? Have they addressed the need to connect with the SEC for replay, or whatever was the issue? I know the dressing rooms, media, scoreboard and security were also issues to be addressed.
Yes, there are two phases of improvements outlined in the contract. At least one of those, the replacement of the turf, has been completed. I’m planning to check soon to see how well the stadium is complying with the rest of the improvements.
I hate we face such a tough schedule in year 3 of CCM’s tenure. I expect we’ll be a much better team next year, but after a while, losses start to become a real problem. I’d rather play a much less glamorous & much less capable team than Notre Dame next year. That’s an almost certain loss. If we could win 4 NC games & 3-4 SEC games, I think the fan base & program would be “all in” for Morris & the momentum would be there for more progress. Lose to ND & win 3 SEC games, a 6-6 record in year 3 could be awfully hard to swallow. Even 4 SEC wins to go 7-5 might be disappointing. We need to get to 8-9 wins pretty soon if we don’t want to get mired down as a perpetual 6-7 win program.