Love the old place and old memories but with so few opportunities to showcase the program nationally, I’m not sure playing there even the one time anymore helps with national perception or helps a program trying to recruit like the bigs of the SEC and top ten.
Love the old WMS, and I don’t deny nostalgic to play there once a year.
…makes the Vanderbilt game next year the last hurrah for WMS hosting the Razorbacks. UALR will start football, UCA and ASU will begin to fill the void and the legislature will eventually mandate the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (the Demozette will get its desired leveling of the titles of Arkansas College Athletic programs) will be forced to play in-state opponents (starting with ASU and later rotating between ASU, UCA, & the University of Arkansas - Little Rock) once each year in Fayetteville. I think the Razorbacks will handle all of that just fine, just like LSU & other schools who play an in-state lightweight once a year and handles the risk of upsets and occasional lost recruits. The end result of leaving WMS will be, in time, being forced to play an instate foe. It will take a few years, but you can bank on it. I don’t view that as a big threat anymore like it was when Frank was getting the program up and running. JMVVVVVVVHO.
It has been a fun run at WMS. I have some great memories with my family there. I live near Little Rock and have always felt the team needed to play at least two games here and I was on that bandwagon. That was until last year when I had the opportunity to go to my first game in Fayetteville. Wow! What a place. What an amazing experience. Razorback stadium is huge, modern and very impressive. It makes WMS look like an quaint, old relic. It is the future and it is what our team and our school needs. There was a time when the school felt that it needed the games in Little Rock as a kiss for the big alumni donors who lived in Central Arkansas and to help establish a state-wide fan base. Well, much of the donor base is in Fayetteville, Bentonville, and Springdale-that’s where the big money in our state is now. Unlike the 60’s and 70’s, we now have complete TV coverage of every game so the entire state has no trouble seeing their team. Plus, it is an “away” game for our team that involves travel by bus to the game and a plane ride home. A home game is when the players get to wake up in their own room, walk to the locker room, and then walk to the field where the rest of the student body and fans our waiting for you. That is a home game. I loved the 60’s and 70’s. I loved Ray Winder field. I loved Cothams in Scott. I loved Minute Man hamburgers. But times change and it is time to move forward. If they play another game here next year, it will simply be a gift from the university. It makes very little sense to play in Little Rock ever again.
Hard to believe that UALR could afford to maintain a program with scholarships. I guess if they wanted to be like Hendrix or Lyons and play D-III with no scholarships they could manage that, but I suspect they dream of being at ASU’s level, since they are in the same conference for most sports. A secondary problem for UALR would be that even if they went D-II they would have to match those numbers with women’s scholarships. They would probably have to start softball and maybe even one other sport to get that done.
That can’t happen without massive and ongoing corporate support, and I don’t think that will be available. ASU is bleeding money every year. The only thing UALR has going for it to start playing football is that they don’t have to build a campus stadium. Otherwise they’ve got massive start up costs and no significant revenue streams available to sustain a program. It just won’t work.
The GSD will go on for as long as the memories there persist in the minds of those who want the Hogs to keep playing there. But the writing appears on the wall. If the trustees vote to keep at least one game there, it would be surprising considering the amount of money that has been sunk into RRS and the additional luxury boxes the NEZ expansion will include. However, the politics may cause a surprising result.
Great read Nate,not only about how you would’ve never met your beloved Sheena if you hadn’t have gone to wm that first time but you also experienced that mystic nostalgia that it holds even to this day. Although I live out of state I’ve experienced calling the hogs in war memorial and possibly because I was born in LR THAT would be my reasoning (but I’m not buying it). War Memorial is a special place to ALOT of fans. And plenty are in Central Arkansas thats only chance to see them live is in w.m. Alabama had a similar situation with their home games being in Tuscaloosa and occasionally playing in Birmingham. whatever Jeff Long I respect you’re judgement because I think you have U A’S Football team in your best interest but sometimes it’s whats best for the ENTIRE state of Arkansas and not just about the money. LIVE ON WAR MEMORIAL & WPS!
The writing is on the wall for games at WMS. The addition of the NEZ & other improvements to RRS make it almost impossible to justify games in LR. However, we need to understand the decision won’t be costless. Fans in the eastern half of the state will find it harder to see the Hogs play in person. Many poor kids in central Ark will never see them play. We will suffer a loss of PR.
I can’t disagree with a decision to move all the games, but that doesn’t mean it’s a no-cost decision. It will hurt us. The downside probably doesn’t outweigh the upside, but the downside is still there.
As to UALR taking up football–I just don’t see them taking on that cost. ASU & UCA both spend more money on football than they bring in–by a large margin. If UALR wants to start football, they’d want to do it as a Sunbelt team. That means costs somewhere in the range ASU has, but revenues of even less. I just don’t see it unless Warren Stephens & a couple of friends want to pony up $25M or so for seed money. I doubt even Stephens wants to do that. (And even if he did, that wouldn’t go very far in a d-1 program.)
IF, and I repeat IF, UALR starts a football program, I sincerely hope it is at the DII or DIII level. That would be appropriate. But if they want to screw their students, by all means go for D-I and I’ll fight it.
ASwho? would be in a lesser division if they were realistic.