Jeff Reed – Is Little Rock A Good Sports Town?


Or Is It Strictly a Razorback City?

Jeff Reed Author PageWe might soon get the opportunity to find out just how good a sports town we have here in Little Rock.

Now we know it is a good Razorback town. That has been the thinking here for years.  But is it a good sports town?

If things continue to go well, and from what we have heard they have so far, War Memorial Stadium could be the site of a bowl game in December. Right now we think there is a better chance of it happening than not happening, although nothing is settled yet.

The game, yet to be named, but we here there are at least a couple of sponsors interested, would match the Sun Belt Conference and the American Athletic Conference on a hopefully pleasant Indian Summer-like (can you still say Indian?) day/evening in the Capital City in December.

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco recently visited Little Rock along with Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson and others for a meeting at War Memorial Stadium. We understand those meetings went well and Aresco was impressed with Little Rock.

One selling point for the AAC is geography. The AAC has six bowl arrangements for 2015-16 and the league assigns its bowl teams based on location to the bowl game. As it stands, Birmingham is the best shot for western teams in the league.

The AAC, which stretches from New England to south Texas, has teams in Memphis, Tulsa, Houston and Dallas (SMU) that would all be prime candidates for a Little Rock bowl. In fact, Memphis is the second closest team to the bowl.

The Sun Belt’s top contenders would be Texas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette/New Orleans (kidding folks, it is really just ULL) and Arkansas State.

A-State athletic director Terry Mohajir, who just recently received a new 4-year contract extension, would love to see the game in Little Rock for several reasons. First of all, location.

The A-State Nation has made an impression for the crowd it took to Mobile the last four years. While it has fallen off some, it is still been in the 8,000 to 10,000 range by most estimates. Mobile loves A-State and has picked the Red Wolves the last two seasons over other Sun Belt members because of its fan base. Could Little Rock become to A-State what the New Orleans Bowl is to ULL? It might help ease the pain for ASU supporters who have yet to see their team play the game in New Orleans despite four league championships.

It would also solve another issue for Mohajir, getting the Red Wolves a game in Little Rock without taking away from the home base in Jonesboro. The upgrades to Centennial Bank Stadium guarantees there will be at least 6 home games a season. None will be taken away from the home base.

There are still some issues to work out. There is no TV contract in place and don’t expect the game to be part of the ESPN package, but those working on the deal are confident something can be done with other cable outlets. After all, those outlets need programing. Why do you think we have so many bowl games now?

We expect good news. And soon.

Would you attend a bowl game this December in Little Rock featuring a team from the Sun Belt and AAC?

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Jeff Reed is editor of

War Memorial Stadium


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