New agreement means more Razorback games in Fayetteville

Fans begin to fill Razorback Stadium early Saturday morning on Sept. 14 before the Arkansas football team’s game against Southern Mississippi.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Razorback football fans will spend an extra weekend in Fayetteville each year thanks to a new agreement between the University of Arkansas and the War Memorial Stadium Commission.

Officials last week announced an amended contract that calls for five games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock over the next five years instead of six games over the next three years.

While the new agreement guarantees an extra two years of games in Little Rock, it also means one less game per season for fans in central Arkansas.

The decision comes after one of the lowest-attended seasons at War Memorial Stadium in a decade, but Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said the modified contract was not about ticket sales.

“The commission had things they were certainly interested in, and that was an extension,” said Long. “For us, we had a strong interest in alleviating some of our scheduling challenges.”

Scheduling games in Little Rock recently became more complicated when Arkansas resumed an annual series agreement with SEC opponent Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. While those games are played at a neutral site, they count as home games for the Razorbacks every other season. Under the previous War Memorial Stadium contract, Arkansas would have only played two SEC games in Fayetteville in 2015.

Long said the additional game in Fayetteville would likely provide a revenue boost of $900,000 to $1 million for the university, but reiterated the decision was not about money.

“That was not the focus of our conversation and our partnership,” Long said. “It was really trying to solve these scheduling issues that we have and it really wasn’t financially motivated at all.”

The 2014 season now calls for six games in Fayetteville instead of five, beginning Sept. 6 when the Hogs face Nicholls State at Razorback Stadium. Other on-campus matchups include Northern Illinois, Alabama, UAB, LSU and Ole Miss.

Next year’s sole Little Rock game is Oct. 18 against Georgia.

2014 Arkansas Razorbacks Football Schedule

Aug. 30 – at Auburn (Auburn, Ala.)
Sept. 6 – Nicholls State (Fayetteville, Ark)
Sept. 13 – at Texas Tech (Lubbock, Texas)
Sept. 20 – Northern Illinois (Fayetteville, Ark)
Sept. 27 – vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas)
Oct. 11 – Alabama (Fayetteville, Ark)
Oct. 18 – Georgia (Little Rock, Ark)
Oct. 25 – UAB (Fayetteville, Ark)
Nov. 1 – at Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.)
Nov. 15 – LSU (Fayetteville, Ark)
Nov. 22 – Ole Miss (Fayetteville, Ark)
Nov. 29 – at Missouri (Columbia, Mo.)