FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - The University of Arkansas and the War Memorial Stadium Commission have approved an amendment to modify their agreement to extend Razorback football games at War Memorial Stadium through 2018 while helping accommodate the changing landscape of football scheduling. The previous agreement between the University of Arkansas and the War Memorial Stadium Commission was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
As part of the amendment, the University of Arkansas will play one game at War Memorial Stadium in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. The five games will include two Southeastern Conference games and three non-conference games. The first in the five-game series will be on Oct. 18, 2014, when the University of Arkansas hosts the University of Georgia in an SEC game at War Memorial Stadium. The Southeastern Conference has not yet determined a football scheduling formula for the 2016 season and beyond.
"I am appreciative of Chairman Kevin Crass and the members of the War Memorial Stadium Commission for working in partnership with the University of Arkansas to come to an agreement that extends our commitment for two additional years while allowing us to address future scheduling challenges," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long. "The new agreement will put the University of Arkansas in a better position to respond to scheduling challenges. Our partnership enabled us to work together to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement that provides the Commission with the financial resources it had anticipated to pay off the remaining debt for their recent renovation of the stadium. With this amendment, we have addressed those priorities and extended our agreement two years through 2018."
As part of the amended agreement, the University of Arkansas will pay War Memorial Stadium $400,000 annually in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The amount is designed to help offset projected revenue from games previously scheduled for those seasons as well as to help satisfy debt incurred on the stadium's recent renovation project. As part of the amended agreement, the University of Arkansas will not pay a rental fee for games in the stadium during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The agreement amends and extends the most recent contract entered into in 2008 which called for two games to be played at War Memorial Stadium annually through 2016.
"We are pleased that we have come to an agreement that will ensure that the University of Arkansas will continue to play football games at War Memorial Stadium through 2018," War Memorial Stadium Commission Chairman Kevin Crass said. "War Memorial Stadium and the Razorback football program have a long and rich history. The football program would not have established its statewide following without War Memorial Stadium. Additionally, War Memorial Stadium would not have enjoyed its sustained success without the Razorback football program. This is the essence of a true partnership. Recently, we learned that the University had a need to solve a scheduling problem and we had a desire to extend the contract beyond 2016. As partners, we were able to come to a result that helps both the Razorbacks and War Memorial Stadium. The Commission and I want to express our appreciation to Jeff Long for his openness to this creative solution."