The study found the stadium needs up to $17 million in renovations to remain in useful condition. That is in addition to the figures the Razorbacks provided in November, which included the upgrades to infrastructure to satisfy existing or expected TV, fan and SEC demands.
It would be a complete waste of money that could otherwise be used for more important things in the Capital city.
This once fine old stadium simply does have the benefit to the Arkansas Razorback Football Program that it did 25-50 years ago and I can’t imagine that spending that type of money just so Little Rock can host 1 game per season is the best use of those dollars.
At some point the nostalgia needs to be put aside for what is actually best for Arkansas Razorback Football and spending 17 million dollars to do a facelift on this out of date and less than SEC capacity stadium simply isn’t it.
I was born and raised in Sherwood and saw my first game in that grand old stadium in 1972 and at the time it was a bigger facility than the campus stadium. However, those days are long sense in the rear view mirror and time to move on and find a better use for that piece of real estate.
Spending $17M for an out of date facility for ONE Razorback game isn’t worth it. POSSIBLY UCA, UAPB, & AState MIGHT be interested. This facility has seen its better days. It was a WPA Project for crying out loud! Something tells me that SEC will determine sometime in near future that this stadium is not up to SEC standards. I don’t know why people keeping on wanting to play there when other teams have stopped. Alabama used to play at Birmingham , Ole Miss used to play at Jackson, and in the NFL Green Bay used to play at Milwaukee but ALL have stopped. What makes us so different? We lose revenue versus Fayetteville whether or not stadium is a sell out or not.
I take these studies with a grain of salt. Not everything a group like that recommends will be needed, especially in the short term. I would hope they do things to fix that stadium for future generations. The central part of the state needs it. I may be in the minority, but I think Razorback games should be played there and also that a good stadium is available for so many other important things that happen in Little Rock. The state needs a good stadium in the heart of the state for high school championships, etc.
There is a stadium in use in Arkansas that was a WPA project, but it’s not WMS. It’s RRS, which opened in 1938.
WMS was built after the war and WPA was gone by then; WPA was shut down in 1943.
Even if the study is overstated by 50%, it still doesn’t make sense. Would the UofA commit to another 10 years (through 2029) of having a game there - I doubt it. LR would never recoup its investment without a long term commitment. Keeping a game in LR does not make sense financially for LR or UofA. I understand some nostalgia with the grand lady, but eventually the cord will need to be cut. In my opinion, it is even more obvious that now is the time.
If they really want to do this they should have put a tax on sales of medical marijuana. Since the money is going up in smoke anyway, funding the stadium improvements won’t be a problem. I figure by 2035 they would be able to afford a third deck, a dome, and a 5000 space parking garage. Then everyone could be High on the Hogs.
Arkansas State could use the stadium at Pulaski Acaademy. I doubt they could sell it out.
This is just a tiny portion of a big national problem. We have things that are quite old, can still be usable for many years to come if they’re properly maintained and renovated, but nobody wants to spend the money to do it. Things like roads, bridges, sewer systems, all kinds of infrastructure that everyone uses, not just the 53,000 on a Saturday night. But the money is never there. However, I would say if the PTB want games to continue in Little Rock, they’d better find the money somehow. Maybe not 17 million dollars, but something substantial.
If I’m not mistaken, the turf was replaced in 2001. How much does a a new, quality rug cost these days?
I think that depends on whether you need to do a lot of site prep. Since we’ve got turf now, site prep costs should be reduced. According to the FieldTurf website, the turf itself is $4.75 a square foot. If you figure WMS for an 80,000 square foot field (football field itself is 57,600 sq.ft., plus border on all four sides), that would be $380,000 just for the turf, plus installation costs. If you were ripping out grass and putting in turf, site prep is estimated as $320,000 on top of the turf costs.