War Memorial Stadium (Arkansas)

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War Memorial Stadium–AT&T Field
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War Memorial Stadium–AT&T Field
Location in Arkansas
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War Memorial Stadium–AT&T Field
Location in the United States
Location1 Stadium Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205
Coordinates 34°44′59.5″N92°19′48.0″W / 34.749861°N 92.330000°W / 34.749861; -92.330000 Coordinates: 34°44′59.5″N92°19′48.0″W / 34.749861°N 92.330000°W / 34.749861; -92.330000
Owner State of Arkansas
OperatorArkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Capacity 54,120 (2010–present)
53,727 (1991–2009)
53,645 (1988–1990)
53,250 (1986–1987)
53,555 (1967–1985)
40,000 (1960–1966)
31,075 (1948–1959)
Record attendance55,912 (September 19, 1992 vs. Alabama) [1]
Field size360 by 160 feet (110 m × 49 m)
Surface FieldTurf
Construction
Broke ground1947
OpenedSeptember 18, 1948 [2]
Renovated2010
Construction cost$1.2 million
($12.5 million in 2018 dollars [3] )
ArchitectBruce R. Anderson [4]
Tenants
Arkansas Razorbacks (NCAA) (1948–present)
Arkansas Baptist College Buffaloes (NJCAA) (2007–present)
Little Rock Rangers (NPSL) (2016–present)
Catholic High School Rockets (AAA)
Website
www.wmstadium.com

War Memorial Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. The stadium is primarily used for American football and is the home stadium for the Arkansas Baptist Buffaloes, Catholic High School Rockets, Little Rock Rangers and the secondary home stadium for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. The Arkansas State Red Wolves have also played there in the past. [5] The stadium also hosts the Delta Classic, an annual football game between the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions and the Grambling State Tigers, as well as hosting the Arkansas Activities Association high school championship game in all classification. [6]

Multi-purpose stadium type of stadium

Multi-purpose stadiums are a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium could potentially host more than one type of sport or event, this concept usually refers to a specific design philosophy that stresses multifunctionality over specificity. It is used most commonly in Canada and the United States, where the two most popular outdoor team sports – football and baseball – require radically different facilities. Football uses a rectangular field, while baseball is played on a diamond and large outfield. This requires a particular design to accommodate both, usually an oval. While building stadiums in this way means that sports teams and governments can share costs, it also imposes some challenges.

Little Rock, Arkansas Capital of Arkansas

Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is also the county seat of Pulaski County. It was incorporated on November 7, 1831, on the south bank of the Arkansas River close to the state's geographic center. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named the "Little Rock" by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in the 1720s. The capital of the Arkansas Territory was moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post in 1821. The city's population was 198,541 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau. The six-county Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 78th in terms of population in the United States with 738,344 residents according to the 2017 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Contents

History

War Memorial Stadium finished construction in 1947 and had a seating capacity of 31,075. On September 19, 1948, the stadium was formally dedicated by former Arkansas Razorback and Medal of Honor recipient Maurice Britt. Britt dedicated the stadium to "the memory of her native sons and daughters who have given so much that we might have our freedom." [7] Following the dedication ceremony, the first game at the stadium commenced, where the Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the Abilene Christian Wildcats by a score of 40–6.

Medal of Honor United States of Americas highest military honor

The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor. The medal is normally awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress. Because the medal is presented "in the name of Congress", it is often referred to informally as the "Congressional Medal of Honor". However, the official name of the current award is "Medal of Honor." Within the United States Code the medal is referred to as the "Medal of Honor", and less frequently as "Congressional Medal of Honor". U.S. awards, including the Medal of Honor, do not have post-nominal titles, and while there is no official abbreviation, the most common abbreviations are "MOH" and "MH".

Abilene Christian University Private Christian university in Abilene, Texas

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a private Christian university in Abilene, Texas. It was founded in 1906 as Childers Classical Institute.

War Memorial Stadium during a Catholic High School football game. War Memorial Stadium (Arkansas).jpg
War Memorial Stadium during a Catholic High School football game.

War Memorial Stadium has added numerous improvements to the stadium and to the playing field. A complete lighting system and an AstroTurf surface were installed for the 1970 season. A new artificial surface was installed in 1974 and also again prior to the 1984 season, before a returning to natural grass field in 1994. [2] Artificial turf was reinstalled prior to the 2002 season when AstroPlay was installed. A new scoreboard and video screen were added prior to the 2005 football season and the field was later upgraded to field turf in 2006. [8]

AstroTurf is an American subsidiary that produces artificial turf for playing surfaces. The original AstroTurf product was a short-pile synthetic turf. Since the early 2000s, AstroTurf has marketed taller pile systems that use infill materials to better replicate natural turf. The prime reason to incorporate AstroTurf on game fields is to avoid the cost of laying and maintaining natural turf and to maximize hours of usage. In 2016, AstroTurf became a subsidiary of German-based SportGroup, a family of sports surfacing companies, which itself is owned by the investment firm Equistone Partners Europe.

Renovations to the club facility and press box began on December 14, 2009, following the 4A Arkansas Activities Association high school football championship game. [9] The renovations cost approximately $7.3 million and was completed in August 2010. The renovations also included the Sports Media Legends Wall of Honor, honoring Arkansas sports journalists that distinguished themselves in their careers and have made contributions to the stadium and to the sport. [10]

Arkansas Activities Association organization

The Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) is the primary sanctioning body for high school sports in state of Arkansas. AAA is a member association of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA). Every public secondary school in Arkansas is a de jure member of the AAA, and most private schools, save for a few schools in the delta that belong to the Mississippi Private Schools Association, are included in membership.

AT&T signed a sponsorship agreement with the War Memorial Stadium Commission to name the playing field AT&T Field on June 23, 2010. The naming rights of the playing field last for at least five years with an option for a 10-year agreement. [11] With this agreement, War Memorial Stadium will earn $175,000 per year for the first five years with a 2.5% annual increase after the initial five years. [12]

AT&T American multinational conglomerate holding company

AT&T Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the world's largest telecommunications company, the second largest provider of mobile telephone services, and the largest provider of fixed telephone services in the United States through AT&T Communications. Since June 14, 2018, it is also the parent company of mass media conglomerate WarnerMedia, making it the world's largest media and entertainment company in terms of revenue. As of 2018, AT&T is ranked #9 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Other uses

In addition to athletics, the stadium has been used for a variety of other purposes including musical concerts and speaking engagements.

Concerts

In 1995, Billy Joel and Elton John performed to a sell-out crowd of 41,274, grossing over $1.6 million for concert promotor Cellar Door Concerts. [13] Other artists who had performed at the stadium are The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, George Strait, and 'N Sync, among others. [14] [15]

Billy Joel American singer-songwriter and pianist

William Martin Joel is an American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man", he has been making music since the 1960s, releasing popular albums throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Elton John English rock singer-songwriter, composer and pianist

Sir Elton Hercules John is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums. John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive number-one albums in the United States, 58 Billboard Top 40 singles, 27 Top 10 singles, four which reached number two and nine which reached number one. His tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997", rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts. He has also composed music, produced records, and has occasionally acted in films. John owned Watford F.C. from 1976 to 1987, and 1997 to 2002. He is an honorary Life President of the club, and in 2014 had a stand named after him at the club's home stadium.

The Rolling Stones English rock band

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of bandleader Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as touring bassist. The Stones have not had an official keyboardist since 1963, but have employed several musicians in that role, including Jack Nitzsche (1965–1971), Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Billy Preston (1971–1981), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), and Chuck Leavell (1982–present).

In 2017, Guns n Roses made a stop here as part of their "Not in this Lifetime" Tour

Speaking engagements

Reverend Billy Graham conducted his evangelistic crusades to thousands of listeners at the stadium that included a young Bill Clinton in 1959. [16] Graham returned to the stadium in 1989.

Notable events

Aluminum Bowl

Months prior to the 1956 NAIA football season, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) began searching for cities to host the inaugural NAIA championship game. As it appeared that the championship game was headed to Shreveport, Louisiana, the Louisiana legislature passed a bill banning integrated sporting events in the state. [17] Since some of their member colleges had African-American athletes, NAIA looked for another city to host the game. War Memorial Stadium general manager Allen Berry worked with local businesses and the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce to raise $25,000 to get NAIA to host the game in Little Rock. [17] Both Aluminum Company of America and Reynolds Metals Company agreed to pay $25,000 each to CBS to broadcast the game nationally and this agreement led to the game's name, the Aluminum Bowl. [17] The NAIA invited the Montana State University Bobcats and St. Joseph's College Pumas, the two leading NAIA football teams at that time, to play on December 22, 1956. [18] [19] The final result was a scoreless tie, and the teams were named NAIA co-champions for the 1956 season. Despite promotion of the game by local organizers, only 5,000 spectators attended the game. Organizers failed to keep the championship game in Little Rock and the game moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1957. [17] [20]

See also

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2015 Arkansas Razorbacks football team

The 2015 Arkansas Razorbacks football team represented the University of Arkansas during the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Razorbacks played their home games at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. They competed as a member of the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas was led by third-year head coach Bret Bielema. Dan Enos served his first season as offensive coordinator, replacing Jim Chaney who left for a job with Pittsburgh. Enos was previously the head coach of Central Michigan.

The 1956 NAIA Football National Championship was played on December 22, 1956 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. Montana State and Saint Joseph's (IN) played to a 0–0 tie, and both teams were declared co-champions. During its one season stay in Little Rock, the NAIA Championship game was called the Aluminum Bowl.

The Little Rock Rangers Soccer Club is an American soccer team based in Little Rock, Arkansas. The team was founded in 2016 and played their inaugural season in 2016. The team plays in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a national semi-professional league at the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. In 2016, the club added a team for the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL), a league at the second tier of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid, playing their inaugural season in 2017. The team plays its home games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

2016 Arkansas Razorbacks football team

The 2016 Arkansas Razorbacks football team represented the University of Arkansas in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Razorbacks played their home games at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Arkansas played as a member of the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They were led by fourth-year head coach Bret Bielema. They finished the season 7–6, 3–5 in SEC play to finish in a tie for fifth place in the Western Division. They were invited to the Belk Bowl where they lost to Virginia Tech, in a game where the Razorbacks blew a 24-0 lead at halftime.

2018 Arkansas Razorbacks football team American college football season

The 2018 Arkansas Razorbacks football team represented the University of Arkansas in the 2018 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Razorbacks played their home games at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with one home game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Arkansas played as a member of the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Razorbacks were led by first-year head coach Chad Morris. They finished the season 2–10, 0–8 in SEC play to finish in last place in the Western Division.

2019 Arkansas Razorbacks football team American college football season

The 2019 Arkansas Razorbacks football team will represent the University of Arkansas in the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Razorbacks will play their home games at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with one home game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Arkansas will play as a member of the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Razorbacks will be led by second-year head coach Chad Morris.

References

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  5. astateredwolves.com
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