The Arkansas Razorbacks will continue to play in Little Rock past this year, according to a source familiar to the situation. As reported Wednesday night by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the football team will play the Missouri Tigers at War Memorial Stadium in alternating years.
Officials with the University of Arkansas, including Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, could not confirm the deal. But following the report, the university announced that a press conference would be held on Thursday at the Little Rock stadium.
According to the source familiar with the arrangement, the series of games with Missouri at War Memorial is part of a broader deal between the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Parks and Tourism controls the stadium, and the current contract between the two entities expires at the end of this year.
In years that the Razorbacks play the Tigers in Missouri, Arkansas will hold their annual spring red and white game in Little Rock.
Department of Parks and Tourism and UA officials will make a joint announcement at 10 a.m., Thursday, outside the stadium, according to a university press release. Arkansas Money & Politics will cover the announcement live.
As previously reported, a Texas-based consulting firm, commissioned by Parks and Tourism released a study in March that found War Memorial Stadium needed about $17 million worth of maintenance work and improvements to remain useful.
The University of Arkansas has played at the Little Rock stadium annually since it opened in 1948, playing as many as four games a year there in the past. As previously reported, the university is said to lose millions when playing inside the smaller confines of War Memorial.
Meanwhile, the university is nearing completion of a more than $160 million renovation of the 72,000-seat Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. The renovation, which was primarily focused on adding a handful of premium seats and luxury sky boxes, is expected to be completed in time for the 2018 season. It was financed with the largest bond in the history of Arkansas higher education.