Hogs will play in Little Rock

Tuesday, August 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The University of Arkansas football team will play three games at Little Rock this season under a deal approved Monday by the War Memorial Stadium Commission.

The commissioners voted unanimously to accept a 15-year deal the university proposed last week.

Among the sticking points in recent contract negotiations was the university's sponsorship contract with Southwestern Bell, since War Memorial had contracted with Alltel Corp. to advertise at the stadium.

Brenda Scisson, chairwoman of the commission's contract committee, told members that Alltel agreed to not put up some signs at the stadium but would still pay the stadium $80,000 per year.

The university still must sign the contract. University of Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles was not in Fayetteville on Monday.

The university issued a statement saying Mr. Broyles was aware of the vote "and would welcome any further effort to resolve the issue." The statement said the university would not comment further until later.

Commission Chairman Louis Schaufele and stadium manager Charlie Staggs signed the contract so it could be forwarded to Fayetteville before 5 p.m.

The Razorbacks are to open their season Sept. 2 at War Memorial against Southwest Missouri State.

Under the version of the contract signed Monday, Alltel will not place signs in the end zones or at team entrances but will remain committed to paying what the Little Rock-based firm agreed to pay the stadium.

At Fayetteville, the university is renovating and expanding Razorback Stadium, which is to hold its first game Sept. 21.

In February, university trustees voted to scale back the number of games the team plays at Little Rock so the venue in Fayetteville – which is to gain 20,000 seats – can hold more games.

Mr. Broyles had previously said that, if the contract dispute hadn't been resolved by Monday, the season opener would be moved from Little Rock to the Fayetteville campus. But he changed his mind Thursday, saying the decision was in the best interest of the state and fans.

Monday's commission vote met Mr. Broyles' initial deadline.

Mr. Schaufele said after the meeting he hopes the controversy is over.

"Personally, I don't like all the stuff we did. But for the good of the program, for the good of the fans, I'm glad we did."