Insiders: Questions on playing in Little Rock

When is the decision expected on whether or not Arkansas will play games in Little Rock beyond 2018? I believe Long said he expects that it before the end of the year, but not sure about that.

Also, I heard somewhere something under consideration is to play Missouri in Little Rock every other year given there are very few students on campus that weekend. So, one game in LR every two years. Any insight on this and whether or not it’s truly under consideration?

I think the discussions will come soon. Will a decision come soon? Not sure, but it could. The time line would be getting close. I’ve heard other options for Little Rock. Missouri is one. LSU is another. The Missouri option would be almost like the LSU of a few years ago, after Thanksgiving. Are those serious options? Not sure.

Personally I would far prefer a game with Mizzou every other year than a non conference game every year. Playing Mizzou on Thanksgiving weekend would be great and only one game every two years would make it “ an event.” Hope there is something to the talk.

I would like to see the first non conference game of the year in Little Rock or just play all the home games on the hill!

Red White game in Little Rock should be under that thought as well.

I don’t like any games in LR, and that’s coming from somebody who grew up there and went to every game but three that were played there from '90 until now.

And as the current schedule rotation sits, playing Mizzou in LR would give only two SEC games in Fayetteville as we are the home team in Dallas for A&M in the same years.

Makes no sense to me why you’d give up two prime weekends for official visits of recruits, one in Dallas and one in LR. We always talk about needing to get recruits to town to see the school and area, and yet shoot ourselves in the foot playing away home games.

Good post. Season-opening non-conference game or no game at all.

Don’t like the idea of a “day after Thanksgiving” game. A lot of ticket holders are traveling that weekend to spend the holiday with family so they will be out of pocket, it’s a popular hunting weekend, it’s Black Friday, etc.

I hauled it back to LR from somewhere else in the state to be at the LSU games when they were in LR, but it meant cutting holiday time with family extremely short.

I’m not sure whether this has changed since the stadium was put under the Arkansas Parks umbrella, but the War Memorial Commission typically has had a meeting late fall. The one in November 2013 is when the Razorbacks said they would move to one game per year there.

We’ve been playing on Black Friday for quite a while now and it seems clear that we’re going to continue playing then, whether it’s in Fayetteville, Little Rock or Columbia. CBS likes the game and we want the national exposure. It is also true that playing an SEC game in LR in odd-numbered years would leave us only two RRS conference games, which pretty much removes any benefit from the current expansion (yes, including greater noise level).

Unless I’m mistaken, the NCAA doesn’t allow intrasquad games to played off-campus anymore. I guess teams who play all their home games in a stadium that’s off campus get to play in their home stadiums, but I’m pretty sure we can’t the Red-White game in LR.

I had been told that’s the case, but when I looked up the NCAA rules on spring practice, it said nothing about where they could be played. What it did say (Bylaw 17.10.4-a) is that the spring game must be the final practice of the spring. We were playing two spring games, one in RRS and the other one week later in WMS. That can’t be done under current rules; there can only be one spring game. But I see nothing that precludes us from playing one spring game in LR to end spring ball, unless the Michigan shenanigans of taking spring practice to Florida and Italy prompts another rule change.

Well, that might be the situation. When we had to drop one spring game, I guess we dropped the one in LR. So much for believing rumor.

It’s possible that when we dropped the second spring game, there was also a rule about playing one off campus which has since been changed. That’s been quite a while now.

I don’t think the NCAA would care where the spring game is played. If there is a rule, it’s because a school asked there to be a rule so they didn’t have to do it anymore. I don’t think the NCAA as a body cares.

I don’t think there is anything that prohibits a team practicing - and a scrimmage is a practice - off campus. Texas Tech holds a practice each spring in Midland, or at least it used to do that. Arkansas’ basketball team scrimmaged in Vilonia a few years back as part of a tornado recovery benefit.

Michigan went to Italy. I would think Little Rock would be OK.

I would be in favor of playing the spring game in Little Rock every year and also the Missouri game there on Black Friday. Both are very solid ideas.

In exchange for that, could the university request the state to make upgrades to the stadium? Well I know they could request it but would there be a good chance of it happening? That stadium could use better scoreboards, better dressing rooms, and at least 5000 more seats.

The scoreboard and video boards were upgraded earlier this year as part of a $1.1 million historic preservation grant. Past that, I don’t see much changing being done to alter the cosmetics of the stadium.

playing the Missouri game in Little Rock every other year, if they decided to continue to play in Little Rock, is the best idea i have heard in quite some time. Students are out. It would give Little Rock an important SEC game. Something central Arkansas fans could plan around. Very good idea.

No chance. None. Zero. WMS expansion would require some kind of new construction, most likely an upper deck. You’d be looking at a minimum of $3000 per seat. That’s $15 million, and that’s if they only add 5,000. The 1985 expansion of RRS added 10,000, which included suites. Assuming that they won’t be building a bunch of suites for two games a year, a similar deck would be 8,000+ seats, or roughly $25 million. There is not room in the state budget for a $25 million capital project that won’t pay for itself. Yeah you could bond it out, but why? One game a year (or every other year with Mizzou) doesn’t service the debt on that kind of project.

Secondly, where is the evidence that they need any more seats? They haven’t sold WMS out for a Hog game for years, and that includes SEC games with Moo U and Georgia.

It’s your opinion that playing Misery in WMS is a solid idea. I do not concur with that assessment. It’s simply throwing Little Rock a bone, the same bone that it has been thrown for the past six years which has been greeted by increasing numbers of empty seats, including for SEC opponents.

The best idea I’ve heard for WMS, post GSD, is to downsize it and refit it so that it is a more versatile facility. Last summer’s Guns ‘n’ Roses concert was a start. Widening the field (which would require removing some field level seats) to make it suitable for soccer has been suggested, and makes sense to me. I could see minor league soccer being played there, along with some regional tournaments. Maybe even some games for the US national teams, of both genders.