University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long was the guest speaker at the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club on Wednesday. One of the major topics was the future of War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The Hogs are under contract to play there twice a year through the 2016 season.
Long has the task of trying to appease fans from all over the state. Many on the east side of Arkansas like the proximity of the Little Rock games. It also helps with donors and recruiting in that part of the state.
Many fans on the western side of the state don’t like it at all, stating the stadium is small and outdated.
Long fielded many questions about the future of Little Rock at the NWA Touchdown Club.
“I don’t feel sensitive about it,” he said. “We love playing in Little Rock and the fans are great. People want to make something out of nothing.”
Traveling to War Memorial also costs the team a lot of money and is a lengthy trip.
Head coach Bret Bielema made his opinion clear earlier in the week.
“I know it’s a home game on our schedule but we as coaches and players have to treat it as a road game,” said Bielema. “One of the things I first discovered when I came here, I knew we played in Little Rock but these two games in reality become two of the longest trips of the entire season.”
“You can’t deny there is a financial piece to this and there is a travel piece to it, but those factors have been around for a long time,” said Long.
Long said negotiations about the future of Little Rock will not be discussed until at least a year before the current contract is up. Long also says he is not aware of any plans to renovate or expand the stadium.
The NWA Touchdown Club is open to the public each week. You can order your tickets here.