New agreement guarantees more seasons, fewer games in Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -- Uncertainty surrounding future schedules of Arkansas Razorback football in Little Rock became clear Tuesday, but it comes at a price.
War Memorial Stadium will gain $400,000 in each of the next three seasons, but it's losing one Razorback game each year for the next five.
The good news for fans who make the trips to Little Rock every season is they'll be able to see the team play in the Capitol City through the 2018 season, but the downside is it will only be a once a season opportunity.
This past weekend's game against Mississippi State marks the final traditional second-game in Little Rock for the foreseeable future.
It's a restructuring that costs War Memorial the extra game through 2016, but guarantees the central Arkansas location as a host for two additional seasons. Although it costs extra to void the deal, the University of Arkansas looks at it as a way to improve revenue for those seasons.
"I think approximately, when you figure in everything all considered, it'll be about between $900,000 and $1 million more in revenues," said Athletic Director Jeff Long at a press conference inside War Memorial Stadium. "I do want to say that was not the focus of our conversations and our partnership."
War Memorial Stadium Commission Chair, Kevin Krass, said it wanted a deal that locks down future games.
"Ultimately our desire was to extend it beyond 2016 on some basis. That affects a lot of other contracts that we have, relationships we have with sponsors, and so forth," Krass said during the press conference.
According to Long the new 14-team Southeastern Conference, and possibility of nine-game conference schedule, are causing issues when it comes to scheduling conflicts. Those reasons factor into the downside of playing two home games away from northwest Arkansas.
"As an athletic director when we schedule a football game it's not just simply home and away games," Long added. "We have to look at homecomings, we have to look at family weekends, senior days (and) other special events."
Arkansas is set to play SEC East powerhouse Georgia on October 18, 2014 in Little Rock, but past that the opponent is unknown.
The new contract states Little Rock is allotted two SEC games through the 2018 season.