…Little Rock games to make room for the required Power 5 non-conference games in the future? Michigan bailing out at the last minute leaves us looking for the few and far between options out there at this late date. They may have to give up a home game to get the required Power 5 game and they have to have six home games in Fayetteville to pay the bills. I think the hand writing on the wall (announcing no more LR games) is now in neon and is flashing rapidly.
I don’t think the Little Rock game is in jeopardy through the current agreement. After that ends, I think we all see that it’s unlikely to continue.
That neon has been flashing for years. Really since 2001. I don’t see that it makes any difference though. Michigan was scheduled as a power 5 team in the last year of the current WMS contract, and a road game to boot. But what does have to happen is that we play a roadie with a power 5 team in a year when we have four SEC games in RRS (meaning we’re the road team at JerryWorld with the Ags). Ditto with TCU this year, and we have a Little Rock game. One roadie, one cupcake in WMS, two semi-cupcakes in RRS, and the SEC schedule. Still get your 6 in RRS that way. JL might even extend the LR deal, to one cupcake indefinitely, unless the public disdain (as in acres of empty WMS seats) makes it obvious that this dead horse is past the point of flailing.
I will be sad if there are no Little Rock games. I guess I see it coming. With an expanded stadium, the revenue is going to be so different. But it’s something I don’t want to happen. I love going to Little Rock even if it’s now just one game. Don’t mind the drive at all. I guess there is too much nostalgia for me.
I understand those of you who have an attachment to Little Rock games. Some of the attachment seems to come from nostalgia.
I have only been to two games in the Rock. The first time I tailgated with the Web Hogs and was treated with hospitality by Hillcrest Hog who sold me my ticket and allowed me to park at his home. The second time, JWright drove and I got my ticket from him. The games that I saw were Mallett’s first game as a Razorback (SMS) and the Georgia game.
As a late comer, I’m not that impressed. There were lots of people doing the wave and generally ignoring the game, even when the outcome was far from being determined. It’s not a trip that I will make alone, so I expect that I will watch future Little Rock games on high-def.
I live in Conway, so a Little Rock game is much easier for me. I also grew up going to Little Rock games, not Fayetteville games (we lived in North East Arkansas). I loved WMS back in the day. I will never forget the crowd and the atmosphere from so many games (1971 Texas, 1979 Texas, 1981 Baylor come to mind, but there were so many more). All that said, with the roads as they are now, with the improvements made to RRS, I can’t see still playing games at WMS, Am I going to be upset if they continue to? No. But I won’t be upset if they don’t either.
I, too, will miss the LR games if they go. But WMS is just not up to the traffic anymore. LR, how 'bout a bond issue?
Little Rock does not own the stadium, never did. The state owns it. Little Rock owns the land it sits on, but not the stadium itself. And the state is not, and should not, going to spend $100 million plus for a stadium addition/renovation that will be used one time a year. WMS is a lot better than it was; they’ve done good cosmetic work on it over the past 10 years. But it’s just not an SEC-quality stadium any more.
Same here. I love LR games and feel many fail to appreciate the importance those games have for making so many people in south & east feel the Razorbacks belong to the whole state. I hope I’m wrong & that fans in Lake Village, Magnolia, & Blytheville will be just as rabid for the hogs in 20 years as they were 20 years ago. But I too see the handwriting on the wall. The expansion of RRS (that I want) will just make WMS games less & less viable. I suppose we can still play a cupcake there, but if they’re going to play a cupcake, I wish it’d be someone with a little more substance than an Alcorn St or UT-Martin. I live in LR. Haven’t missed a game there in years. I’m sure I’ll go to the Alcorn St game. However, it won’t be anything like games from years past. Even with reduced pricing, I’ll be surprised if we have over 45,000 there.
Back in the day Little Rock was hard to beat. Now with all the huge stadiums in the SEC and around the country, WMS looks so inadequate. I can’t say the atmosphere is big-time.
Plus the games cost Arkansas an opportunity to host kids for official visits.
I agree Clay. You know as a boy I went to one of Lou’s camps at WMS. And I remember great moments like the comeback against Baylor(also when I was a kid).
I really wish Little Rock would step up to the plate and either build or do a massive renovation on WMS. If Little Rock wants to keep the money it earns from hosting Hog games then they need to step up and invest.
That would be a horrible investment. Yes, there are some economic benefits to WMS games, but not that much. Too many people drive in from Malvern or Conway or Pine Bluff, go to the game and go home. No hotel, maybe one restaurant meal (or none if they tailgate or eat stadium food).
Remember again: Little Rock does not own the stadium. The state does. Little Rock could do a bond issue and build an entirely new stadium, but that would be the height of stupidity for a place that again will be used one time a year and does not afford that much in economic benefit. The state is not going to do anything; they can’t/won’t even build/maintain our roads, how are they going to put an upper deck on WMS?
I do expect a push from Pulaski County interests for the return of UALR football (they had a team back when they were a junior college). It may even succeed to some extent. But the likely outcome can be seen by what has happened in Birmingham, which is a lot more football crazed than Little Rock. UAB is an afterthought.
This is just the unfortunate fact. The atmosphere for big games has been electric in years past, but even at its best it won’t hold more than 55,000. It’s simply an inadequate venue & as Jeff said, the state can’t afford to put $100M into a facility to make it adequate for 1 (or even 2) events per year.
Lets let UALR have a football program so we will have another hole to pour tax dollars into. With that being said I won’t be surprised if some push for it.