The time has has come to cut the tie to WMS. JL should take the extra $2 million from Michigan and buy out the contract with WMS. I know of no other major program that uses 2 stadiums. In the past they did but not now. I’ve seen many wonder victories at WMS, but the future for the Razorbacks is playing at Fayetteville. We know its going to happen so why not now.
Well, in addition to that, Marty, often empty seats still represent sold tickets. Most tickets are sold as season ticket books & a lot of people simply don’t attend the non-marquee games. And often students don’t attend those games in the numbers they otherwise do.
So, yeah, I’m all for the RRS expansion. They’re adding seats that will be sold for premium amounts so there’s demand for them. However, this expansion is more about improvements to existing areas more than it’s about true expansion. I believe they’d have been better served by not calling it an expansion at all. Call it “stadium renovation” or “stadium improvement project” or something along those lines & add, “oh yeah, we’re adding 4,000 seats, too.”
I know the days are numbered for WMS. There is no arguing with the dollars. But what I worry about more than the lost tradition - and we’ve lost a lot of traditions - is recruiting and our presences in central Arkansas and thus the rest of the state. And the recruiting is not at all what it once was with the state of the LR schools. Too, bad. Things change. It’s not required that you like it.
Once the University of Arkansas cuts ties with War Memorial Stadium, and I believe it will sooner rather than later, I can’t imagine the Razorbacks ever returning to play another game there. The facility on campus is just too good, it’s on campus, and the Trustees voted in favor of stadium expansion today. In my opinion, the University of Arkansas football program doesn’t need support from Central Arkansas. The “Razorback Nation” extends well beyond the State’s borders, and ground zero is Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Bret Bielema and Brooks Ellis have been quoted as saying the playing in Little Rock feels like an away game.
If and when we go back to a home and home schedule with Texas A&M, I could foresee the Razorbacks playing a marquis opponent at a neutral site, maybe St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, or even Dallas, before UA would consider playing at WMS again.
I would strongly disagree. We need all the support we can get. While I agree the end is near for WMS, I think the University as a whole and the football program specifically need to think long and hard about how to replace that presence and keep in touch with central, south, and east Arkansas.
Growing up in NE Ark and going to Hog games in WMS long before I ever got to see a game in Fayetteville, it was at least 5 hours on a 2 lane highway plus a ferry crossing to get there, I totally agree with Hollywoodhog. The beauty of WMS was that it was just a few hours from everywhere in the state and easy to get to. John Barnhill knew that and that was why he helped make sure it got built.
I don’t think you could be more wrong. Regardless of whether we should move all the games to RRS, this state doesn’t have the population, money & recruiting base to ignore any part of it. I’m convinced the best asset this program has & has had for years is that it enjoys statewide support. Without it I doubt we could begin to compete with any major program, much less with those in the SEC. You might think the program extends beyond the state’s borders, but that’s only partially true. You’ll find more Razorback fans in Pulaski Co. than you will in Tulsa even though Tulsa is half as far away & twice as large. If there are more Razorback fans in DFW than LR, it’s only because DFW is huge, but I’d bet there are more from Pulaski County. When you factor in all of east & south Arkansas, well, it’s not even close. It’s just ridiculous to say there’s any area of support we don’t need. We need it all.
Hollywood, you are exactly right. Snouty is way off base with those remarks, and Long and the BOT knows that.
I live in Central Arkansas and have no problem with moving all games to Fayetteville. However statewide support is vital to UA’s success.
The Hogs are still the entire state’s team. And should remain so. There is a reason the Razorback Foundation has opened a new office in Little Rock, to continue to connect with fans and donors outside NWA.
I have always thought there was a window of opportunity missed. If WMS had been expanded 30+ years ago when it was a hard sellout, there would have been no need for a thread now discussing what will happen to the stadium when we’re no longer playing in it. I don’t ever remember any serious discussion of an expansion (other than a college term paper I wrote on the subject in about 1981), but I do remember some discussion of an entirely new stadium, which would have been domed, to replace it. That discussion didn’t last very long; there was one public meeting about it, I think.
Wal Mart, the interstate to NW Arkansas and the move to the SEC.
The first, with a nod to other companies like J.B. Hunt, drove initial economic expansion and population growth.
The second made it easy to get to UA from points south and west. The UA has followed it up with a clever ploy to make it a regional university-in-state tuition for students from adjoining states. Think about the difference between enrollment now and when the interstate opened- not to mention how much NW Arkansas as a whole has grown- since I-49 opened.
The third turned the UA from a modest self-funded athletic department to a member of the financial athletic elite, with the need and capability to build elite level facilities.
All of which means that WMS, expanded over the years to grow the state’s football program, is no longer needed.
An alternate reality!