The University of Arkansas has outlined upgrades to War Memorial Stadium that, according to the university, are needed to continue hosting Razorbacks football games.
UA has played annual games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock since the venue opened in 1948, and is under contract to do so through 2018. As it considers its future at the facility, UA is making the case that the stadium will need upwards of $10 million in upgrades if it is continue hosting games for the university.
Within its pitch, UA included specifics on short-term upgrades, immediate upgrades, and facility minimums under SEC review. The immediate upgrades touch on technology enhancements such as Wi-FI and TV broadcast infrastructure improvements, as well as an expanded officials locker room. A presentation delivered by UA officials last month described some of the concerns surrounding the school’s future hosting of games at War Memorial Stadium. More from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette:
UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz and Athletic Director Jeff Long made PowerPoint presentations regarding games at War Memorial Stadium to individual members of the UA board of trustees and Gov. Asa Hutchinson in late October, according to the documents. By presenting to individual UA trustees, UA officials avoided giving the presentation in a public forum, such as the regularly scheduled UA board meeting last week in North Little Rock.
In their presentations, UA officials discussed the pros and cons of hosting games at War Memorial. Among them are financial factors such as a $1.5 million difference in the five-year average of ticket revenue between games at Reynolds Razorback Stadium ($4.1 million) and War Memorial Stadium ($2.6 million).
UA officials have determined the average per-game net revenue at Razorback Stadium is $7.4 million, double that of War Memorial’s $3.7 million, and that the difference in net revenue for 2018 and beyond is projected to rise to $4.7 million per game.
Reynolds Razorback Stadium is undergoing a $160 million expansion that will add about 4,200 club and suite seats by August 2018.
The short-term upgrades called for a wide variety of improvements, including new artificial turf and concession and restroom upgrades, while areas such as home and visiting team locker rooms fell under the category of facility minimums under SEC review. War Memorial Stadium is controlled by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
Image courtesy War Memorial Stadium.