Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Proposed bill targets UA, ASU football game
A proposed bill would have Arkansas and Arkansas State play at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
FAYETTEVILLE A bill was introduced to the Arkansas House of Representatives on Tuesday that would require Arkansas and Arkansas State to play a football game at War Memorial Stadium.
Proposed House Bill No. 2274 encourages "economic development, enhanced intrastate collegiate athletics opportunities, and increased community and philanthropic support." Rep. Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley) and Rep. Harold Copenhaver (D-Jonesboro) co-sponsored the proposed measure.
According to the proposal, the game would take place at the earliest possible date in accordance with NCAA rules, contractual obligations and the availability of the stadium, located in Little Rock. At least $250,000 in ticket proceeds must be donated to a predetermined organization, according to the proposal.
A website, ArkansasASUbenefit.com, asks fans to vote on whether they agree with the bill and which philanthropic group would best benefit from the proposed game, listing the Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas Veteran's Home, War Memorial Stadium, Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and Little Rock Zoo as potential beneficiaries. Mayberry told the website TalkBusiness he will withdraw the bill if the voting, which ends March 16, is negative.
The University of Arkansas has held to a long-standing policy not to schedule in-state teams in athletic events. The Razorbacks and Red Wolves have never played each other in football.
Both teams have used the Little Rock stadium for home games, though the Razorbacks play there more frequently. Arkansas is under contract to play two games at the venue each year through 2016.