War Memorial Stadium has strong future, official says

War Memorial Stadium has strong future, official says

(KAIT/TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) - There may be some question as to whether the Arkansas Razorbacks will play football games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock past 2018, but a state tourism official believes the nearly 70-year-old structure has a sustainable future.

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism director Kane Webb told content partner Talk Business and Politics that the stadium in the middle of Little Rock is a good place for tourism.

"We were charged with trying to find more uses for it, with or without a Razorback future," Webb told Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. "We hope there is a Razorback future there, but if not, we still have a great facility in a great location. It's in midtown Little Rock. It's in the middle of a park. Thousands of people go by it every day. It is an asset."

The state agency is working with Texas-based firm Conventions, Sports & Leisure International on a feasibility study to decide what's next. The contract with CSL goes through April 2018 and the War Memorial Stadium Commission is now part of the parks and tourism department.

Webb said the firm has a good track record and is eager to provide information.

"They've done this all over the world," Webb said. "They've done the Cotton Bowl. They've done work on Reynolds Razorback Stadium [in Fayetteville]. They came up and met with us for the first time recently, to kind of get that [study] going, take a look at the facility, talk to the stakeholders, and see what options there are for uses of the stadium, beyond football. That includes concerts, other events, craft festivals, whatever it may be. Something that can be an attraction almost all the time instead of just for a football game."

The study is expected to be done by the end of the year, Webb said.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android