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Razorbacks not the only team struggling to fill stadium for warm-up games

September 12, 2013

By Steve Boggs

It’s been interesting to hear the debate over whether to hold University of Arkansas football games in Little Rock each year. There were more than 9,000 unsold tickets for last Saturday’s game at War Memorial Stadium against Samford. The debate on sports talk radio centered on whether Little Rock is being “punished” by hosting an out-of-conference patsy game, rather than a marquee match-up.
One radio host who has been around a while explained that there “would be” 9,000 people outside War Memorial Stadium during the game. Basically, a tailgate party without the cost of a ticket.
When I was a season ticket holder at OU, I generally pawned off my tickets for teams like North Texas, Cincinnati or any directional school to someone who had never seen the Sooners play live. There just wasn’t enough interest in patsy games for me to pay for parking, fight the crowds or sit in the heat to watch a blowout.
I’m sure this debate between Fayetteville and Little Rock will continue. It’s an interesting situation unique to the Razorbacks. I do know Arkansas isn’t the only school struggling to fill seats for warm-up games – regardless of where they are played. There’s a recession on, after all.
If the SEC game in Little Rock doesn’t sell out, this argument will move to a whole new level.

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The Bryant Hornet faithful packed the visitor stands at John McConnell Stadium in Conway last Friday night. The Hornets dropped their season opener, but they got great support from the fans. They stayed until the end and made their presence known in the fourth quarter, when the Hornets tried to make a game of it.
Turns out, the slow start was just too much to overcome.
Conway had plenty of parking, a luxury Hornet fans won’t have this week at Little Rock Central. I’m having my wife drop me off early, and pick me up after the game. There can’t be more than 100 or so parking spaces around the stadium there.

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Sheriff Pennington kept everyone off balance over the past few weeks. He resigned, delayed that resignation, and then decided to stick out the rest of his term before ultimately going back to his original retirement date of Oct. 1.
Now that the position has been declared vacant, the candidates are lining up. There’s still no word on who the interim sheriff will be. By law that person can’t run next year.

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Got my first look at Hurricane Golf and Country Club last week in the Swing Fore Saline tournament to benefit the hospital’s foundation. It’s a very nice course, with a lot of subtle hazards. I especially enjoyed the layout around the greens.
We didn’t play that well (66), but we had a blast.
The driving range was a first for me. I’ve never seen a range where the target is water. The range balls float, and move to a cove for retrieval. It’s probably a very good, efficient system. It’s just not for me. I find enough water on the course accidentally without practicing my way into it.

Steve Boggs is publisher of The Saline Courier. He can be reached at publisher@bentoncourier.com.

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