Wind conditions in the stadium

Razorback Stadium has always been a wind sensitive field, partly because of location, but also a lot because of having an open end. The south end zone expansion reduced it somewhat, but probably made it more swirling. What will the new north end zone construction do? Eliminate most wind variables, or make it even more swirling with the open corner?

Interesting question. I looked up the box scores for all RRS games last year (which list wind at time of kickoff) and they showed wind from the north, east and south (and two with no wind). I would think that gap in the northeast corner would tend to funnel the wind a bit if it’s out of the north. Out of the south? Maybe the new construction causes additional swirling. But there have been plenty of times without the new construction that the flags atop the upper deck were blowing one way (usually out of the south) and the streamers on the goal posts were blowing the other.

I have seen many times when the flags were dominant one way, but both coaches picked a different direction for their kickoffs at the start of the half. And, the carry of the football indicated they were correct. It does swirl. I think what it’s done in the past will be about the same in the future. It’s going to swirl. Mostly, the wind blows out of the southwest in our part of the state. Yes, there are cool fronts and storms that change that. But when it’s out of the southwest, I think it definitely swirls in that valley and whips around. It was out of the north on Saturday, but it was not much of a factor on anything. Pretty much calm on the field. A north wind often doesn’t dip down from the hill that’s to the north and hit the field full force. That will be more the case with the new structure to the north end zone.

I study winds and their swirls when on the river. The bluffs on the White River make for interesting dynamics. I can usually find a calm area even on the most blustery day. You have to study the structure and note the wind direction. It’s amazing what structure and buildings do to wind. Walk around in New York City or Chicago in downtown and you get the idea.

Before the South End Zone was built, back in the 60’s and before that, all Razorback games were played at 1:00 p.m. The wind would howl through the stadium because it would either blow from the north( a cold wind) or the south(a warmer wind). There were only the west and east stands, about 40,000 capacity.

Guys could hardly punt the ball against the brutal winds. I remember a kick being blown back and the punt ended up with a negative yardage. If you were lucky to get the wind, a punter could punt it a mile. You guys are right, the wind was a huge factor in the days before the stadium was added to.

Ah, for the days when we played Baylor, the sun shining, the bear on the sidelines drinking coke from a bottle. Nowadays, if you saw a bear on the sidelines everybody would run for cover. The personal injury lawyers would have been hired before sunset because of the horror of seeing a beast in Razorback Stadium.

Baylor’s bear would have been drinking Dr. Pepper! All the SWC stadiums had wind issues it seemed except Rice and Houston, heavier air down by the gulf. Memorial Stadium in Austin and Jones Stadium in Lubbock were always extremely windy it seemed. I guess all the Big 8 stadiums had wind issues.

On my lone visit to Lubbock (no desire to go back), it was an overcast afternoon and the wind was howling through West Texas. Steve Cox, who had a big leg anyway, was kicking off for us. Kicking with the wind, Steve caught one solidly. It sailed over the end zone, over the turf behind the end zone and about 30 feet up onto the embankment. My memory (a little foggy after all these years) is that there was grass on that end of the stadium at the time with a Texas Tech logo on the grass, similar to today’s block M in the north end zone at Mizzou but not as large, and Steve might have hit the TT.

Maybe my memory isn’t too bad, because the TT on the grass is still there:

Oh yeah, and Houston played in a dome. 1 mph in all directions. We did have to play them outside their first year in the SWC, in Rice Stadium I believe; they only got to play one SWC game in the dome that year. And went to the Cotton Bowl anyway.