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April 01, 2013

Comments

Your comments concerning the proposal for a football game between the University of Arkansas and ASU missed the mark by ignoring the economics of college athletics. Certainly, it is a shame that college sports has become subservient to the almighty dollar, but that is a fact of life in this era. Why should the University of Arkansas be asked to sacrifice potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars to play a game with ASU? I recognize that attendance at ASU games is much smaller than the attendance at Razorback games so it might be difficult for you to assess the economic impact to the U of A program. When the U of A plays in War Memorial Stadium, the gross revenues from ticket sales exceed $3 million. Concessions add significantly to that amount. The proposal you talk about addressed none of those items. If it planned to split the gate between the two schools after deducting an amount for charity, the loss to the U of A could approach $2 million. Assuming they pay their current Little Rock opponent $1 million to play, the loss is still another $1 million. The U of A averaged over 54,000 in attendance in the two games they played in War Memorial while ASU averaged less than half of that in the home games they played.

ASU should concentrate on increasing their attendance at their sporting events and contributions to their booster foundation instead of trying to force a game with another school. You failed to mention that the U of A is a self-supported program from ticket sales and contributions. In fact, it contributes funds every year to various academic programs. On the other hand, ASU has to burden its students with an athletic fee of $17 per hour just to keep their program afloat. That's $51 for every class a student takes regardless of their interest in athletics or if they ever attend a single sporting event.

Using the example of Alabama and Auburn is like comparing apples and oranges. Both of those schools have self-sufficient programs and sell 90,000+ tickets to every single game, something ASU can't even match one-third of.

Maybe your platform would be best used to encourage ASU to discontinue the oppressive student athletic fees and stand on its own with ticket sales and booster donations. Reducing the cost of a college education for students in Northeast Arkansas would make for a much better Region 8 than any football game ever will.

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