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UA, War Memorial amend agreement

By David Harten , Matt Jones

This article was originally published November 26, 2013 at 10:41 a.m. Updated November 26, 2013 at 12:36 p.m.

war-memorial-stadium-commission-chairman-kevin-crass-left-listens-as-university-of-arkansas-athletic-director-jeff-long-right-answers-questions-about-the-amended-contract-between-arkansas-and-war-memorial-stadium-in-a-tuesday-afternoon-press-conference

War Memorial Stadium Commission Chairman Kevin Crass, left, listens as University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long, right, answers questions about the amended contract between Arkansas and War Memorial Stadium in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

2014 Razorbacks schedule

• Aug. 30: at Auburn (Auburn, Ala.)

• Sept. 6: vs. Nicholls State (Fayetteville)

• Sept. 13: at Texas Tech (Lubbock, Texas)

• Sept. 20: vs. Northern Illinois (Fayetteville)

• Sept. 27: vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas)

• Oct. 11: vs. Alabama (Fayetteville)

• Oct. 18: vs. Georgia (Little Rock)

• Oct. 25: vs. UAB (Fayettveille)

• Nov. 1: at Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.)

• Nov. 15: vs. LSU (Fayetteville)

• Nov. 22: vs. Ole Miss (Fayetteville)

• Nov. 29: at Missouri (Columbia, Mo.)

Long, Crass discuss contract amendment

University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long and War Memorial Stadium Commission Chairman Kevin Crass discussed the amended contract between Arkansas and War Memorial Stadium in a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Little Rock will now get one game each season until 2018. The previous contract guaranteed two games in the stadium until 2016. (By David Harten)
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— Officials from the War Memorial Stadium Commission and the University of Arkansas announced an amendment to their existing contract in a Tuesday news conference at the stadium.

The new contract calls for one game per season in Little Rock through the 2018 season. The first game of the new agreement will be next season against Georgia.

Arkansas was previously under contract to play two games per season, including one conference game, at the stadium through 2016. Officials said the UA will pay War Memorial $400,000 annually the next three years to offset the cost of lost games in addition to a $75,000 rental fee per game.

The announcement comes a little over two months after UA athletics director Jeff Long said there “isn't much urgency for the two sides to address it immediately,” regarding future scheduling at the stadium.

“I think we’ve ended up with an agreement that, like in most partnerships, is mutually beneficial for both,” War Memorial Stadium Commission Chairman Kevin Crass said.

The new agreement calls for the Razorbacks to play two conference games and three nonconference games in Little Rock over the next five years.

No specific games have been scheduled at the stadium past the 2014 season, Long said, and the two sides haven't discussed playing in Little Rock past 2018. Long said Arkansas loses around $1 million in revenue for nonconference games at War Memorial Stadium and approximately $1.3 million for conference games, but added the amended contract was not financially motivated.

Pre-existing contracts for games scheduled in Little Rock, such as a Sept. 3, 2016 game against Louisiana Tech, will have to be examined, Long said.

Long said earlier this year that he planned to honor the previous agreement between the two sides. The Razorbacks have played games in Little Rock for decades, but the number was narrowed to two per season beginning in 2003.

The sides restructured the contract in 2008 to add two years through 2016. A previous deal called for Arkansas to play three games in Little Rock two times prior to 2014.

“We’re also anticipating changes in 2016,” Long said. “It’s no secret that the [Southeastern Conference] is looking at the possibility of nine-game conference scheduling. And that puts additional pressures on us with our scheduling. This agreement will allow [Arkansas] the flexibility to deal with that future. Whatever it may be. But we do know it's coming.”

The decision comes on the heels of one of the lowest-attended games at the stadium since Arkansas joined the SEC. Announced crowds of 47,348 and 45,198 watched games this year there against Samford and Mississippi State.

Season ticket sales at the 53,955-seat stadium dropped drastically in 2012 when the Razorbacks moved their home game against LSU to Fayetteville for the first time in 20 years. The LSU game was played in Little Rock nine times from 1994 to 2010, serving as an incentive for fans to buy a separate season ticket package for War Memorial Stadium.

Scheduling for games in Little Rock became more complicated when Arkansas re-entered into an agreement to play Texas A&M annually at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas beginning in 2014. Under the old War Memorial Stadium agreement, the Razorbacks would have only been able to play two on-campus SEC games in 2015.

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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Dontcallmenames says... November 26, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.

I dropped my tickets because of the extremely high "donation" that must be paid to obtain decent seats. Remove that and I'm back in.

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HawgFan says... November 26, 2013 at 10:57 a.m.

All the home games should be on the campus in Fayetteville.

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Pobucker says... November 26, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.

Screw'em

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HotSpringsLawyer says... November 26, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.

"UA athletics director Jeff Long said earlier this year that he planned to honor the previous agreement". Well, that was earlier.

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Disasterrn says... November 26, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.

Jeff Long, that's one helluva fine Thanksgiving present for the state of Arkansas. Don't you even have the gumption to wait until the season is over to screw the Central/Southern Arkansas fans? Could it be that attendance is down due to 2 horrible years? I understand attendance is also down in Fayette-screw-the-rest-of-the-state-ville....

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HawgFan says... November 26, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.

Disasterrn... It seems to me that the UofA has been screwing the students of the University and the football team for years by making them travel 3 1/2 hours to play a home game.

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Delta2 says... November 26, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.

The one game you decide to keep at that glorified high school stadium is UGA? Are you kidding? A major intraconference matchup should be showcasing your campus and your nice stadium. No wonder this program is the laughingstock of the league.

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WhoDat says... November 26, 2013 at 12:21 p.m.

Those who can't remember more than 10 years don't realize that the UA would not even be able to compete at this level if it had not been for the support of the whole state, which was solidified by games in LR. Loyalty is a one way street to these people. It may take two or three generations, but there will be consequences.

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lsadmin says... November 26, 2013 at 12:41 p.m.

They took basketball and now they cannot sell 1/4 of Bud Walton. They should go back to Barnhill. at least it was loud and had atmosphere. Football attendance is a thing of the past. People watch on PPV in the parking lot rather than go inside and seat elbow to... If they have another losing season, the old timers will stop caring and stop contributing. The over 60 crowd supports the program.

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SUPERDUTY says... November 26, 2013 at 12:57 p.m.

Zero games in LR is coming, and then UAMS can tear the stadium down and build something for them.

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