Mike Irwin made some interesting

The cynic in me suspects that the dog and pony show was to give HY cover. He said all the right things to mollify the Central Arkansas folks, but they put requirements in there that he knew were unlikely to be fulfilled. Ticket sales for an SEC game were relatively easy, but the state isn’t gonna come up with $17 million plus, and he was pretty sure nobody like Warren Stephens was gonna write a personal check of that size; if Warren were inclined to do that, he would have done it 17 years ago during the original GSD.

They were saying they would be able to do so. Only now are the whispers beginning about how it won’t happen.

I agree that “they” said they would be able to do so. I thought at the time it was highly unlikely, and that hasn’t changed. The state wasn’t suddenly going to discover a pile of unappropriated money to pay for the upgrade. Private sources could do it, but they haven’t, and IMO won’t.

I hate to see us stop playing at WMS altogether, but I also understand why we should play in a substandard stadium. As time goes by, WMS becomes more substandard. However, I certainly understand the folly of paying $17M for upgrades for a place that will only need them once per year or, worse, once every two years.

I’m afraid the handwriting is on the wall. WMS might be workable for another few years, but its end is in sight as a venue for anything but high school or lower level college football. It’d work for a Southland, Sunbelt, or MAC football game, I suppose, but let’s face it, none of those would ever bring more than 15-20k fans. Those kinds of crowds won’t justify spending $17M, either.

I agree with Clay. I will be super sad if LR stops getting games. I think, all things considered, its an advantage. Its been one the reasons the whole state is behind the HOGS.

But, I also agree with Swine. There are many things that need govt. funding. A football stadium’s refurbishment isn’t one of them.

They’ll replace the turf, outside of that, I don’t see them spending the money that’s needed to fund the other demands.

So, looking back on the stadium upgrade article by Matt from a year ago, it stated that between $5M and $10M worth of upgrades, in which $1.4M and $4M are going immediate needs. Are they saying they aren’t going to do this, or backing away from the potential $20M+ investment?

There are some things that were in the study that are not needed. I bet what must be done is a lot cheaper. They must get the technology fixed for top end replay. Otherwise there should not be an SEC game played there.

New sod and a working clock would be a huge upgrade…

We will know soon enough how much money will really be spent. Asa is going to cruise to his re-election for his final term, and the legislature goes into session in January. So you will have a governor with no worries about another election and more important priorities for using his remaining political capital and a legislature that has not shown a general willingness to pony up a bunch of new money to do a big overhaul of WMS.

If the funding, be it bonds or appropriations, doesn’t get approved or is only partially approved by the end of the legislative session, that will be a pretty clear signal that what was envisioned and what gets done will be very different things.

Not needed?? I guess the team can continue to dress in cramped quarters like we always have, but it doesn’t help recruiting. Of course, we can’t have any recruits there to look at it, so I guess it’s a wash. The biggest upgrade after turf, scoreboard, and replay, will be Wi-Fi for the coming tablets on the sidelines and wireless in the QB’s helmet.

The city of Little Rock and central Arkansas benefitted greatly from War Memorial Stadium and the 3-4 Razorback games that were played there for 60 or so years. The economic impact of families coming to the games and spending money for shopping, food, lodging and many other reasons impacted the area to the tune of an incredible economic benefit for all those decades.

Why the state or the city did not build a new stadium or do a renovation of WMS is a question I always never could answer. Of course, now it is way too late. There is no great stadium debate…the time for debating is over. You can put the stadium debate into the same file as Federal Express, Southern Methodist University, the Arkansas Travelers and Alltel arena…Little Rock and the state of Arkansas were not progressive enough then and now they are paying a huge price. What could have been will never be.

Considering that Little Rock (or Pulaski County) didn’t even make a significant offer to be the home of the University, nothing seems to have changed since 1871.

Plus WMS had lights for night games when RRS didn’t until when late 70’s - early 80’s?