For many years, the “Great Stadium Debate” has continued on with many twists and turns. This season provides the latest twist as Jeff Long moves the LSU game to Fayetteville for the first time in 20 years (read: almost my entire LIFETIME). Recently, Arkansas Expats has decided to create an argument for Little Rock. This article was made to create strong counterpoints to every single logical argument in Arkansas Expats’ article.
Why shouldn’t the flagship campus of the state continue its most famous and popular outreach endeavor in the form of games in Little Rock?
Once again, the age old argument of LR being in the center of the state comes into play. Expats argues that UA has many offshoots of its main campus and playing around other UA campuses benefits those who can’t afford to travel or educate themselves at the main campus.
The only problem is that every other major college has offshoots of its main campus throughout their own states. However, NONE of these schools play in other locations throughout the state. Arkansas is the only DI school in the nation to play in multiple “home” stadiums. Even Alabama has stopped their “tradition” of playing in Birmingham. Since then, they have gone on to win multiple National Championships.
Expats also seems to think that Revenue is the sole focus of this argument which is entirely untrue. Arkansas Nation has expanded quite well over the last decade. Many current season ticket holders come from out of state (and not necessarily from Dallas either). These ticket holders are willing to provide an inordinate amount of gas money as well as hotel reservations to accommodate themselves unlike LR fans who maintain this argument (not all). This drives directly into Expats next argument which is the age old transportation argument.
Another argument in favor of moving all the games to Fayetteville is the transportation argument: that it is now easier to get to Fayetteville these days with the relatively new interstate, and fans across the state are just being cheap by not paying the extra amount to get to Fayetteville
My first obvious question is this: why do you expect NWA-area fans to make the same travel to LR? You can’t have this one way, it goes both ways. With gas about to hit “$5 a gallon”, do you expect NWA fans to NOT make same objectional reasoning to not go to LR? Once again, not all stadium-goers come from just Fayetteville or LR areas. A majority of them come from out of state.
Expats then goes on to make the claim about only the wealthiest going to games…..which I don’t understand. Provide these details as to where I am wealthy, I’ll gladly take any money it brings along with it. This brings me to my final argument of this topic……
“Greater ease of accessibility works for hospitals, state government, and museums at the center of the state, so why shouldn’t it work for the Hogs, which many Arkansans would rank ahead of hospitals, state government, and museums anyway, haha.”
Congratulations, you are the state capitol, you have a hospital that the nation respects, and have an old museum recently renovated. What happened to Alltel or FedEx for that matter? Need I remind you of those businesses named Wal-Mart, JB Hunt, or Tyson? What about Crystal Bridges or our City-connecting hiking trail running entirely throughout NWA? Listen, if you want to stoop that low to make a “joke” then I’ll play right into your game.
After getting offensive and bragging about what LR does indeed have, Expats goes onwards….
What about recruitment?
Ah, the recruitment angle. LR area recruits like LR area games. Guess what? We still have two games in LR, give up. Besides, have you seen the locations where the majority of our recruits come from nowadays? Its not Arkansas.
What about staying competitive?
Expats brings up the fact that “Broyles, Holtz, Hatfield, Nutt, and now Petrino have had a lot of success while playing games in both Fayetteville and Little Rock”. Well DUH. We’ve played in both areas for a lifetime’s existence.
Listen, I understand the emotion that is attached to that old rickety stadium in LR. However, with 20,000+ student population a year graduating every year about 70% or so, that is another 14,000 fans EVERY YEAR graduating from Fayetteville. Many fans are indeed coming from out of state in order to attend games.
All signs point to one location for home games in the immediate future. You may call it a war on our tradition or whatever. We were originally called the Cardinals, we used to play games in Fort Smith, we change the style of our helmets, etc. Tradition changes. Keep up or be left out.