FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A spring game that had been planned in Little Rock for the Arkansas Razorbacks will not be taking place after all.
“I think that it is a mistake for The Razorbacks, I think it’s a mistake for Little Rock, I think it’s a loss for War Memorial Stadium,” Beverly Stang said.
Fans were upset and devastated that the Hogs will not be playing at War Memorial this season.
Since 1948, Arkansas Razorbacks have tackled the turf at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
“It’s wild, crazy, and loud. The enthusiasm, it’s hard to get over that environment,” Stang said.
From spring games to big-time SEC match-ups fans in Central, Arkansas was excited when the hogs play in the capital city.
“The games I believe bring money into Little Rock and they do a lot for the fanbase here,” she said.
“I look forward to the spring game to get me pumped up for the fall,” Christina Becerra said.
That feeling quickly changed for Christina Becerra when she learned the Razorbacks won’t play at all in the rock this season.
“Yeah I feel really bummed about it, kind of disappointed,” Becerra said.
On February 1st, the university submitted a waiver to the Southeastern Conference requesting permission to hold the final spring scrimmage in Little Rock.
On Friday that request was denied.
The SEC says all practices must be held on-campus.
“I’m greatly disappointed because of the value that there is in this bonding between Little Rock and Fayetteville,” Stang said.
Beverly Stang says she and her four-legged friend will miss the experience and the food.
“We come up after the games and we pick up leftovers,” she said.
But the love for the hogs remains the same.
“No matter what I support them through good times and bad,” Christina said.
It was bad news for people in Central, Arkansas but fans and students in Fayetteville were excited.
“Me and Wesley are very excited, great move by the University and I think it’s something the whole school will look forward too,” one fan said.
“It’s great I used to go the game all the time as a kid, I personally didn’t like the move to Little Rock for the spring game but very glad its back in the roots of Fayetteville,” one student said.
“I think it’s a really good idea, it’s a really good idea for recruiting, I read something about the recruits could be in Little Rock so I think its a really good deal. I think more fans will be involved so it’s a really good idea,” one person said.
A news release issued by the University of Arkansas on Friday gave this explanation:
The Razorbacks wrap up spring practice on Saturday, April 25 inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium with the team’s final spring practice open to the public. Arkansas submitted a waiver to the Southeastern Conference requesting permission to hold the final spring scrimmage in Little Rock. An approved waiver from the SEC is required to hold any spring practice off campus. The waiver was not approved.
Arkansas is set for a busy spring on the gridiron in head coach Sam Pittman’s first year at the helm of the program.
The Razorbacks will hold Pro Day on Wednesday, March 11 inside Walker Pavilion. Arkansas begins spring practice the following week on Monday, March 16 with the team’s first spring workout. The Razorbacks will practice three times that week before taking a week off for spring break. The team returns to practice on Tuesday, March 31 with the team’s first scrimmage of the spring set for that weekend on Saturday, April 4.
“As part of our ONE Razorback initiative, our goal remains to engage fans throughout Arkansas and beyond. Unfortunately, we did not receive the necessary waiver to accommodate the spring game at War Memorial Stadium as originally planned. However, we will continue to explore additional opportunities to enhance the numerous events already being held throughout the state to help bring the Razorbacks closer to our fans.”
With the final spring practice now set for Fayetteville, the weekend will include several other Razorback sporting events as well as serve as the annual A Club reunion, an event that welcomes back all former letterwinners in all sports. Razorback baseball will host an SEC series with Auburn at Baum-Walker Stadium that weekend. The men’s and women’s track & field programs will host the National Relay Championships, holding events Friday night and Saturday at John McDonnell Field. The defending SEC champion women’s soccer team will host Oklahoma on campus on Saturday in a spring exhibition.
The Razorbacks open the 2020 season on Sept. 5 against Nevada in Fayetteville before traveling to Notre Dame the following week for the Hogs’ first-ever match-up with the Fighting Irish at 1:30 p.m. on NBC.
Season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting arkansasrazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at 479.575.5151.
The newest contract with War Memorial Stadium started in 2019 and it’s a 6-year contract. This is what was supposed to happen each year of the contract with the University of Arkansas.
2019 – game with Missouri
2020 – spring game (click here to read the letter that denied this game.)
2021 – game with Missouri
2022 – spring game
2023 – game with Missouri