UA, Little Rock to amend agreement

Jeff Long

Officials from the University of Arkansas and War Memorial Stadium held a news conference today in Little Rock to announce an amendment to their existing contract. One game per year will continue to be played in Little Rock over the next five seasons.

Officials from the University of Arkansas and War Memorial Stadium held a news conference today in Little Rock to announce an amendment to their existing contract.

Jeff Long, UA athletics director, said the deal was made possible because of the gracious way the stadium commission reached out when it became obvious that the SEC schedule -- as two new members came aboard -- put the Razorbacks in a bind.

Kevin Cass, stadium commission chairman, said the deal means the operations at War Memorial Stadium would be a "break even" proposition at least through the next three years.

Long thanked the commission in interview after interview through the day, noting, "We both wanted conference games and this was a compromise."

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.

The UA will pay War Memorial $400,000 annually and a $75,000 rental fee for SEC games. The new agreement calls for the Razorbacks to play two conference games in Little Rock over the next five years.

Arkansas was previously under contract to play two games at the stadium through 2016, including one conference game each season.

UA athletics director Jeff 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 beginning in 2003.

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.

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