Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

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Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
09-02-06-RRS-north.jpg
Former names University Stadium (1938)
Bailey Stadium (1938–1941)
Razorback Stadium (1941–2001)
Location N Stadium Dr and W Maple St, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Coordinates 36°4′5″N 94°10′44″W / 36.06806°N 94.17889°W / 36.06806; -94.17889Coordinates: 36°4′5″N 94°10′44″W / 36.06806°N 94.17889°W / 36.06806; -94.17889
Broke ground 1937
Opened September 24, 1938[1]
Renovated 2001
Expanded 1947, 1950, 1957, 1965, 1969, 1985, 2001
Owner University of Arkansas
Operator University of Arkansas
Surface Shaw Sports Turf PowerBlade HP[2]
Construction cost $492,000[3]
($8.24 million in 2014 dollars)[4]
$106 million (renovation)
Architect Thompson, Sanders, and Ginocchio Architects[5]
Heery International (renovation)
Capacity 72,000 (expandable to 80,000) (2001-present)
50,019 (1995-2000)
52,680 (1985-1994)
42,678 (1969-1984)
38,000 (1965-1967)
30,000 (1957-1964)
21,200 (1950-1956)
18,500 (1947-1949)
13,500 (1938-1946)
Executive suites 132
Record attendance 76,808 (September 25, 2010) vs Alabama[6]
Field dimensions 360 by 160 feet (110 m × 49 m)
Tenants
Arkansas Razorbacks (NCAA) (1938–present)

Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is an American football stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas and serves as the home field of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks football team since its opening in 1938. The stadium was formerly known as Razorback Stadium since 1941 before being renamed in 2001 in honor of Donald W. Reynolds, an American businessman and philanthropist. The playing field in the stadium is named the Frank Broyles Field, honoring former Arkansas head football coach and athletic director Frank Broyles.[7]

Razorback Stadium increased the seating capacity from 50,019[8] to 72,000 (with an option to expand capacity to 80,000 with temporary bleacher seating) during the 2000-2001 renovations.

History[edit]

Before 1938, the Razorbacks played in a 300-seat stadium built in 1901 on land on top of "The Hill", which is now occupied by Mullins Library and the Fine Arts Center (in the "center" of campus). The new stadium cost approximately $492,000 and was funded by the Works Progress Administration, with the University of Arkansas only paying 22 percent of the contact.[9][10][11] The stadium opened for the 1938 football season as University Stadium, holding a capacity of 13,500 spectators. In the home opener for the Razorbacks, the Razorbacks defeated Oklahoma A&M by a score of 27–7 on September 24, 1938. The following week, Arkansas dedicated the stadium to then sitting Arkansas Governor Carl E. Bailey on October 3, 1938, changing the name of the stadium to Bailey Stadium. Following Governor Bailey's defeat in the 1940 gubernatorial election to Homer Martin Adkins, the stadium's name was changed in 1941 to Razorback Stadium.[12]

The "PigScreen", a 30 by 107 foot LED display that was installed in 2000.

Athletic director Frank Broyles began searching for architects for the proposed $65 million stadium expansion and renovation in 1998, believing that the renovation was needed in order for the Razorbacks to compete in the Southeastern Conference at a consistent level.[13] Broyles hoped for a completion date of 2000 or 2001 and narrowed the search down to three architecture firms: Eisenman Architects of New York, Heery International of Atlanta and Rosser International of Atlanta.[10][11] Broyles awarded the renovation contract to Heery International with local support from the Wittenberg, DeLoney and Davidson architecture firm of Fayetteville.[14]

The renovation was partly funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, when the foundation donated $21 million in 1999 to help renovate the stadium.[15] What was then the largest LED display in a sports venue, the 30 by 107 foot screen produced by SmartVision was installed along with a new scoreboard at the northern end zone in 2000. The expansion was completed before the beginning of the 2001 football season, increasing the permanent seating capacity to 72,000 from its previous capacity of 51,000 seats. Four thousand bleacher seats were added in the south end zone upper deck bringing capacity to just over 76,000 with the new expansion. The Razorback Stadium was renamed Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in honor of the generosity by the Reynolds Foundation on September 8, 2001, where Arkansas lost to Tennessee by a score of 13–3.

On November 3, 2007, the date of the last Fayetteville home game of the 2007 football season, the playing field was dedicated and named in honor of outgoing athletic director Frank Broyles.[16]

A major renovation to the stadium was proposed in 2011 by Athletic Director Jeff Long, unveiling the plans to enclose the north end zone. The proposed renovation is estimated at $78 million to $95 million, which would feature at least 5,000 new seats, including field-level suites and indoor and outdoor club areas.[17]

A new upgrade to the stadium for the 2012 season doubled the size, 38 by 167 feet, of the previous LED screen, 30 by 107 feet. The upgrade was contracted through LSI Industries.[18][19]

Controversy[edit]

Since 1948, home games were divided between two venues: Razorback Stadium and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. Athletic director Frank Broyles wanted to move all home games to Razorback Stadium to help pay off the $30 million bond that was to be used for expanding and renovating the stadium in 1999. Broyles pointed out that the expanded Razorback Stadium would increase revenue to $3 million per game compared to the $2 million per game for playing at War Memorial Stadium.[13][20] However, Little Rock investors did not like the idea of moving all home games to Fayetteville and countered with an offer to renovate and expand War Memorial Stadium to increase revenue. Also, Little Rock investor Warren Stephens threatened to discontinue his family's support ($150,000 in annual donations with an additional $1 million in annual support from his family's company Stephens Inc.) for the program if games were pulled from Little Rock.[13] After listening to both Chuck Neinas (Broyles' consultant on the issue) and Stephens in January 2000, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees voted 9 to 1 to sign a compromised contract with the owners of War Memorial Stadium. The contract would keep at least two Razorbacks games, with one being a conference game, in Little Rock until the end of the 2014 season.[21] In 2008, the contract with War Memorial Stadium was extended through the 2016 football season by athletic director Jeff Long.[22]

Other uses[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.arkansasrazorbacks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=6100&ATCLID=187018
  2. ^ "Arkansas selects turf for Razorback Stadium". University of Arkansas Athletic Media Relations. June 2, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Baylor Field Goal Beats Arkansas, 9-6; Nelson's Placement Decides in Last Thirty Seconds". The New York Times. October 9, 1938. 
  4. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "2003 University of Arkansas Facilities Management Planning Group". University of Arkansas. 2003. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  6. ^ Glier, Ray (September 26, 2010). "Sloppy but Strong, Alabama Rallies". The New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Arkansas names football field after outgoing athletic director Frank Broyles". Associated Press. SportingNews. November 4, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ "1999 Schedules/1998 Results". NCAA. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ Martin, Michael S. (2002). Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas: A Centennial History, 1902-2002. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 0-9713470-0-X. 
  10. ^ a b "Firms line up for UA stadium project. (Razorback Stadium in Arkansas)". Arkansas Business (Entrepreneur). October 12, 1998. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Best And Worst Of 1998". Arkansas Business (Arkansas Business). September 28, 1998. 
  12. ^ Thompson, T.T. Tyler (2004). The University of Arkansas Razorback Band: A History, 1874-2004. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. p. 57. ISBN 1-55728-779-1. 
  13. ^ a b c Schroeder, George (2005). Hogs! The Story of Razorbacks Football. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 207. ISBN 0-7432-8052-0. 
  14. ^ Allen, Nate (August 5, 1999). "Razorback Stadium going uptown". Log Cabin. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  15. ^ "$10 Million Grant From Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Brings New Life to Vol Walker Hall". University of Arkansas Relations. May 13, 2010. 
  16. ^ "McFadden rushes for SEC-record 323 yards as Arkansas rolls". Associated Press (ESPN). November 3, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Arkansas unveils athletic facilities plan". Associated Press (ESPN). October 18, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  18. ^ Kuhlenschmidt, Jack (October 28, 2010). "Stadium Preview: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium". The Vanderbilt Hustler (InsideVandy). Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  19. ^ "New Video Display for Razorback Stadium". Athletic Media Relations (ArkansasRazorbacks.com). May 21, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Broyles' Power: Fierce or Fading?". Arkansas Business Publishing Group (Entrepreneur). July 24, 2000. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  21. ^ Schroeder, George (2005). Hogs! The Story of Razorbacks Football. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 208. ISBN 0-7432-8052-0. 
  22. ^ "Razorbacks sign two-year War Memorial Extension". August 23, 2008. Retrieved November 25, 2010. 

External links[edit]