Razorback Headquarters

I had a chance to tour the administrative offices inside the north end zone this morning for the first time. It is impressive, not just from an architectural standpoint, but from an organizational one. I can’t imagine there are many, if any, nicer or more organized in college athletics.

The new office area is much larger than the old Broyles Center, which had become outdated by the time it was torn down two years ago; there just wasn’t enough space for the number of workers within the department. Many of the people who now have offices in the athletic complex had previously been scattered across campus wherever empty office space could be found. I don’t know how much it helps to have everyone in the same building - I assume quite a bit - but it is impressive to walk the length of the building and see name plate after name plate on the office doors and everyone inside working.

I know some people who think the department has become too big, but I don’t because I consider everything that is under the department’s umbrella - communications, a TV network, ticket operations, compliance, creative, licensing, facilities management and much more. One of the things that stood out to me is that the office area was built with the capacity for more growth within the department. There are a number of cubicles that are empty, waiting for new occupants.

Probably a step up I would imagine for the AD from what was at Houston

A little bit, but maybe not as drastic as some might think. Every department, at least at larger universities, has a lot of similar responsibilities and expectations. Houston might not be in a Power Five conference, but I consider it a major university.

For instance, everyone is into telling their own story now on websites and social media, creating the need for more professionals in communications, public relations and creative services. Everyone has a need for compliance staffs, facilities and equipment management, ticketing, licensing, a business office, event management, marketing, radio, etc.

Probably the biggest difference internally at Arkansas is the TV network. The only other schools that have that component are the 13 others in the SEC and Texas with the Longhorn Network.

What are the ACC schools going to use for their network? What do the PAC 12 and Big10 use? I figured those schools had all that in-house too.

It looks like there are empty cubicles for about 20-30 more folks. Buy most everyone is in an office now. They aren’t sharing rooms or sharing areas like before.

Because the ACC Network is a partnership with ESPN, it will be comparable to the SEC Network and Longhorn Network setups on campus, in which there are multiple control rooms that have linear capabilities. Those are extremely costly. In 2014 when the SEC Network launched, Arkansas spent $7 million to outfit the RSN offices inside Bud Walton Arena. It was that way at each school.

From what I can tell the Big Ten and Pac-12 networks do not have anything nearly as comprehensive as what they have built on SEC campuses. My guess is those networks subcontract to smaller broadcast companies to get games on the network. Most Big Ten and Pac-12 schools are in large media markets where those companies are more likely to exist than in smaller markets like are in the SEC. I do not think either conference network has near the digital footprint as the SEC Network. I don’t think every Washington State home soccer game, for instance, is going to be streamed online. Maybe I’m wrong.

The ability to independently broadcast every sporting event on campus has been unique for the SEC and Texas. I’ve been told the setup in Austin is awesome. New technical directors are sent there to learn.

I was taking more about the bricks and mortar aspect of the building and not the responsibilities.