Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
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.
|Former names||University Stadium (1938)
Bailey Stadium (1938–1941)
Razorback Stadium (1941–2001)
|Location||350 North Razorback Road, Fayetteville, AR 72701|
|Owner||University of Arkansas|
|Operator||University of Arkansas|
|Record attendance||76,808 (September 25, 2010) vs Alabama|
|Field size||360 by 160 feet (110 m × 49 m)|
|Surface||Shaw Sports Turf PowerBlade HP|
|Opened||September 24, 1938|
|Expanded||1947, 1950, 1957, 1965, 1969, 1985, 2001, 2017-2018|
($8.55 million in 2017 dollars)
$106 million (renovation)
|Architect||Thompson, Sanders, and Ginocchio Architects
Heery International (renovation)
|Arkansas Razorbacks football (NCAA) (1938–present)|
During the 2000-2001 renovations, Razorback Stadium increased the seating capacity from 50,019 to 72,000, with an option to expand capacity to 76,000 with the "temporary" bleacher seating atop the south end.
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% of the contact. 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.
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. 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. Broyles awarded the renovation contract to Heery International with local support from the Wittenberg, DeLoney and Davidson architecture firm of Fayetteville.
The renovation was partly funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, when the foundation donated $21 million in 1999 to help renovate the stadium. 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. 4,000 bleacher seats were added in the south end zone upper deck bringing capacity to just over 76,000 with the new expansion. In honor of the Reynolds Foundation's generosity, the stadium was formally renamed Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium 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 Broyles.
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.
During the 2016–17 offseason, the Broyles Athletic Center was demolished as part of a $160 million renovation and expansion of the stadium. The expansion will add 4,800 seats and new premium seating to the north end zone. This expansion will boost the capacity of the stadium from 76,000 (with south end zone top bleachers) to 80,800.
Since 1948, home games were divided between two venues: Razorback Stadium and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. Because of the stadium renovations in 1999-2000, Razorbacks athletic director Frank Broyles wanted to move all home games to Razorback Stadium to help pay off the $30 million bond. 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.
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.
After listening to both Chuck Neinas (Broyles' consultant on the issue) and Stephens in January 2000, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees voted 9-1 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. In 2008, the contract with War Memorial Stadium was extended through the 2016 football season by athletic director Jeff Long.
As of 2014, a new five-year contract calls for only one game to be played at War Memorial Stadium each season through 2018. In 2014 and 2018, the game will be a conference opponent. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 the game will be versus a non-conference team. 2018 will mark the 75th anniversary of the Razorbacks playing in War Memorial Stadium, and it is likely to be the last season they play in that venue as well. Most financial experts feel it is a sound decision, considering Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium seats 72,000 fans, while War Memorial Stadium only seats 53,000. It also costs the university around $1 million to transport the team, equipment, band, etc. to Little Rock for a game, and the university does not receive any of the concession revenue, which is kept by War Memorial Stadium.
High School football championships.
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The movie Greater (2016).
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