The North End Zone addition....

The University of Arkansas or the Razorback Foundation or some entity is spending $160 million dollars to add suites and bowl in the north portion of the stadium. Why did we not spend some of this money on improving the existing stadium by adding chair seats like they did when they put in the South End Zone? We might have lost some seats, but we could have added those seats back into the North End Zone and made it similar to the South End Zone which is cool The Stadium would have also had a symmetrical look rather than the odd look of those Suites which doesn’t really make it look like a bowl.

Most of you sit in those regular seats in the stadium, just like I have since around 1958 or so. You know how crowded and cramped the seats are. Those tiny aluminum planks we sit on are too small and spaced too close to each other. I sit by a fat guy( or do we call him calorie challenged?) who takes up 2 spaces with only 1 ticket. This year he bought a chair back, but it really didn’t help.

That, in my view, should have been, one of the first improvements made to the stadium. Chair seating for all patrons or fans. Say the cost is $250 per chair to install at 50,000 chairs. We already have the South End Zone. $250 times 50,000=$12,500,000. Whatever, it might be $20,000,000. The point is it would improve the game experience for all the fans to be comfortable. That should have been a priority when improving the stadium. Look at any reasonably new stadium in the NFL from Foxboro, to Dallas, to Pittsburgh…all have chair seating for their fans.

I feel sure the money was spent to allow more income to the school or the Razorback Foundation, but what about the existing fans who are already buying tickets and have been for years? What about them?

Couldn’t agree more. I rarely sit in my seat the whole game. After being pinched like a sardine and standing up and down 40 times letting people down the aisle, I’ve had enough and usually walk the breezway in the S. end zone.

You would have to rip out all of the tiers of existing seating and install about 1/3 fewer rows to get chairback seats to replace the existing plank bench seats. Instead of 24" deep rows you need at least 32" and more would be better to handle the chairbacks and still get the code required clearance to exit each row. It is not just the thickness of the back, it is also its tilt that takes up so much room. Basically, you would be throwing everything away and building something totally new. Not as easy as it sounds.

Lol, do you wish to pay what the standard NFL ticket and seat license is for those stadiums? Also, you can’t put in the chair back seating you want in the current distance between the rows, just think how crowded it is in a row with the bolt on chair backs. Of course, you’ll have to eliminate 10-20% of the capacity to make room should we ever tackle such a project.

Simple answer. Money/return on investment. They have reason to believe they can sell the suits for a nice profit.

I do not disagree that they need to do things to help with average fan’s game experience, but expecting them to spend $20,000,000 to get zero more money isn’t realistic. It for sure isn’t going to be first priority. (And as I talk about below it would, in my opinion, cut down on the seating substantially, so it would reduce income, not just fail to increase income)

I also will say that putting chair backs in to all the seats is NOT a good idea without other changes. I will NEVER go back to a game at the Cotton Bowl. I was there in 1999 for the Arkansas SMU game. Seats were chair backs. I am 6 foot to 6’1". My knees were JAMMED into the (empty) seat in front of me. If it wasn’t a chair back my knees have plenty of room. I hated the entire experience. They had put chair backs on all the seats just like you talked about and it just didn’t fit.

I don’t know if you have ever sat toward the top of the lower deck on the West side, I can tell you if I try to go down the row, even with people standing up to let me by, there is simply not enough room to get by without stepping on feet or if you are lucky, the people on the row in front of you will stand up and you can walk on their seats. If you put chair backs there, it will be practically impossible to get in or out of those rows. Further, the chair backs take more room (side to side) than do bleacher seats, you would lose a significant number of seats.

Frankly, to put in chair backs they would need to eliminate several rows of seats to give the room between rows necessary and they would lose several seats on each row. I would guess, to do it right, it would reduce the number of seats by 10 to 20% and cost a LOT of money as they would have to redo the concrete on the rows to adjust to the new configuration.

Hogmodo, you may be right…due to the concrete structure…it may not have been something that could have been done. Are there any architects out there who might know?
Maybe, there is a new seat design that would allow for such a thing. If not, some of you inventors get after it.

Maybe it was not feasible financially or architecturally to do this. I can’t imagine adding 5,000-6000 seats and costing $160,000,000 could be very financially feasible either.

We will find out over the next few years if adding the suits was a good move or not. They said, over and over, that the money they would make on the suits would more than pay for the cost of renovation.

It wasn’t about adding SEATS it was about adding SUITS. There was not a waiting list for seats. There was a waiting list for SUITS.

Suites . . . they didn’t put a Brooks Brothers outlet in the stadium.


OK, I can’t spell. I have a law degree, but I screw up lose, loose, etc. Suits, suites, etc. I don’t mess up there and their (if I proof read). Yes, I am an idiot.

Lawyer, eh? No wonder you’re obsessed with suits!


Hey, maybe they should put a suit store in the NE, we may be on to something.

No coke, that’s fine, just buy a brand new suit instead!

No they didn’t, unless they were referencing the cost of the suites themselves. The cost of the suites and club seats amounts to around $40m. The rebuilt BAC, locker rooms, elevator towers, big screens, Founder’s Suites, concourse, etc, drives the price up to the $160m.

Correction noted. My point was about the suites vs. seats. You are correct there was more to the project.

It appears to me that this is not a sweet discussion at all. I do think there are some who are interested in the suites that had seats in the middle of the bleacher seats on either side of the stadium. I can understand why they would want that. But few of them want to actually get rid of those bleacher seats, either. They have the best views.

I am spoiled because I sit in the press box near the 50-yard line with a TV above me. So I will bow out of this discussion which may or may not be sweet. For the record, the only time I wear a suit is for a wedding or a funeral.

I have taken a tape measure into RRS (spring practice scrimmage) and measured the rows in the lower bowl. They are 27 inches deep. Hogmodo is correct that you would need 32 inches of depth, at least, to put in chairbacks. The only way that will happen is if they completely tear out the lower decks and rebuild them, as A&M did with the west side at Kyle Field. But even at that, you lose capacity as the rows would be 20% deeper, meaning you have room for about 18% less rows. If memory serves, there are something around 55 rows in the lower decks. Multiply 55 rows by 27 inches and you get 1,485 inches, or about 124 feet. Divide that by 32 and you get 46 rows. So you would probably lose about 18% of capacity – and that’s assuming that your chairback seats would remain the same width, about 18 inches. Which, if you went with armrest seats, would be a really tight squeeze for some of our more, prosperous fans.

Greg definitely has an obsession:ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

Suits vs suites, sweets vs suites…I thought it was a nice rhetorical device!

As mentioned, structurally impossible to re-render the bowls on the east and west side.

The minimum width on chairbacks is 19" o.c. which leaves you less room than bench seats at 18" because of the 2" armrests. For comfort’s sake, many go with 20" - 24" wide seats. Going from 18" wide seats to 24" reduces seating capacity by 33%.

You might have noticed the sideline seating at Hoover for the SEC baseball tourney. They used bench seats with a straight plank back. You get the backrest and you can spread out if it is not a sellout. They cost half as much as chairbacks. Getting the back support is the big deal. The armrest just gets in the way.

That Baum Stadium is all chair back seating is what makes it special. It’s what always made it fun for me to go to Ray Winder Field in the old days. I didn’t know any other place had chair back seats. Yes, there were some bleachers in a few places at Ray Winder, but the main grand stand and boxes were chairs or chair backs.

If this is a reference to me not sure how to take it. :lol:

Been going to games since I was 7. I am now 54. Obsessed? Maybe? Post here more than most, less than some.

Events in my life in the past year have made me realize the realities of the unimportance of sports compared to the rest of life but I still do love the Hogs.