UA officials announce football stadium study, Texas Tech schedule

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 104 views 

The University of Arkansas athletic department has begun a study of fans to examine the opportunity of expanding the north end zone at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Wednesday.

Department officials also said Wednesday (May 29) that the football team will play a home-and-home series with former Southwest Conference foe Texas Tech in 2014 and 2015.

The end zone study began with a survey emailed to all season ticket holders Wednesday and will be open for 10 days, giving fans the opportunity to have their views expressed and provide information related to the potential expansion. The results of the survey are expected at the end of the summer.

“As we continue to evaluate the potential of expanding our stadium in the north end zone, it is important to include input from our current season ticket holders and other fans,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said in a statement. “This survey will help us better understand and quantify the demand expressed by supporters during our Razorback Seat Value Plan (RSVP). There are many variables to consider with this project, and it is important that we strive to accommodate the preferences of Razorback fans now and in the future.”

In February, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a market and cost analysis of the potential expansion. The purpose of the analysis is to examine the variables associated with an expansion such as seating capacity, design, construction, economic variables and the demand for additional seating, all of which should be studied when considering the feasibility of a stadium expansion.

If the university determines the expansion to be viable and a decision is made to proceed, the project will be brought back to the Board of Trustees for approval prior to beginning of the actual project. The funding of the market and cost analysis study and any potential project will be from athletic revenues, gifts, and bond proceeds from a future bond issue amortized using athletic revenues generated from the stadium expansion.

The Texas Tech schedule will provide the Arkansas program with exposure in a state rich with potential college recruits.

“With the Texas Tech series, we are renewing a Southwest Conference rivalry and strengthening our non-conference schedule while gaining valuable exposure in Texas,” Long said. “With the landscape of the college football postseason changing, it is imperative that we schedule competitive non-conference matchups that will benefit our program.”

The Razorbacks are set to travel to Lubbock, Texas, on Sept. 13, 2014, for the first meeting between the two teams since 1991 and will host the Red Raiders in Fayetteville on Sept. 19, 2015. Arkansas leads the all-time series 28-7, including a 15-2 edge in Lubbock and a 6-2 mark in Fayetteville.

“The addition of Texas Tech gives us a quality non-conference opponent for the first two years when the world of college football changes with the playoffs in 2014,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “We anticipate strength of schedule being a factor in deciding which teams are selected and feel adding Texas Tech to our already strong conference schedule puts us in a great position in that regard. There is a tremendous amount of excitement around our program, and this is a matchup our fans can look forward to.”