Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Suites, loge boxes go fast for renovated stadium
An artist's rendering shows how a proposed $160 million renovation to the north end of Razorback Stadium might look. The renovation is scheduled to be complete by the 2018 football season.
FAYETTEVILLE It is more than 11 months until Arkansas will play its first game in the renovated Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, but the new features already are proving to be popular among consumers.
Arkansas has signed commitments for all 38 new suites that will be located on the north and east sides of the stadium, and commitments for 59 of the 70 loge boxes that will be built on the north end, said Scott Varady, executive director of the Razorback Foundation. The final available suite was taken last Wednesday.
An additional 2,200 club seats will be constructed on the north end. The Razorback Ticket Office began offering those tickets last Tuesday and sold 60 in the first week.
"Obviously we're very pleased," Varady said. "The Razorback fans deserve all the credit and it's a tribute to them - the people who support our program and are making a difference in our program by making these gift commitments on the suites.
"Most of their gift is going to help construct the stadium."
The suites, loge boxes and club seats are being added as part of a $160 million renovation that is scheduled to be finished by next August. The Razorbacks are scheduled to play their first post-renovation game at the stadium on Sept. 1, 2018, against Eastern Illinois.
Next season's home schedule also includes nonconference games against North Texas and Tulsa, and SEC games against Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, although one of those SEC games - undetermined now - will be played in Little Rock.
The expansion will add 4,849 seats to premium areas, which - after a reduction of 637 outdoor club seats on the east side to make room for new suites - will bring the stadium's listed capacity to 76,212.
The 38 new suites will bring the total number of suites at the stadium to 172. Each new suite requires a seven-year commitment and a donation of about $3,700 to $4,100 per seat each year. Each suite will be able to accommodate 18 to 30 people, including six standing-room only tickets
Varady said the majority of those suites have been secured by individuals.
"I know a lot of times there is this perception that this caters to the corporate world, but that's really not necessarily the case," Varady said.
"These are mostly folks who haven't been able to get an existing suite, who wanted a suite and wanted to come into the process."
Loge boxes - which are small, four- and eight-seat outdoor club areas that include food, drinks and access to indoor club areas - are being offered at $4,000 per seat each season. There are options to purchase the loge boxes for one year or as far as in advance as three seasons.
About 80 loge box seats will be available at field level, similar to field-level boxes at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. An additional 272 loge box seats will be located on the level above the field.
The Razorback Foundation began offering those boxes to fans in late spring. The demand has been high because of their unique features.
"The boxes are about 8-feet wide by 9-feet deep," Varady said. "The box has a countertop for food and beverage, and a personal television.
"Those are moving fast."
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