FORT SMITH, Ark. – Arkansas Athletics Director Hunter Yurachek and several members of his staff, coaches, athletes and spirit squad members took part in the One Razorback Roadshow on Tuesday in Fort Smith. The group giving back to a community hit by severe flooding over the summer. Before his appearance at Uncork’d in Fort Smith Tuesday night, Yurachek updated several things with the Arkansas Football program including upcoming schedules, gameday atmosphere and lagging ticket sales after one of the worst seasons in school history in 2018.
“Ticket sales reflect us being 2-10 last year quite candidly. We are down a little bit,” Yurachek said.
Yurachek also discussed the gameday atmosphere changes inside and outside of this season’s Razorback Football games which have been announced recently including the new HogTown tailgate area outside of Razorback Stadium.
“We are going to have a live band. We are going to have a huge video wall with college games. We are going to have a beer garden,” Yurachek added. “We are going to have a dozen or so food trucks. We are going to have games for the kids. Then the team is going to walk through there as part of the Hog Walk. We want the game to be a true entertainment value. I think our fans that come that first game they will experience that.”
What about what fans can expect inside the stadium while watching the Razorbacks play?
“They will experience some of the new things that are in that stadium. Such as the expanded Wi-Fi. Some of the augmented reality things we are going to do on the video board. We are going to make it a special gameday experience. People are going to want to be a part of that.”
Yurachek understands the cost associated with coming to Razorback games and wants to make sure fans get their money’s worth when they head to the Hill.
“You’ve got to really create an entertainment value in an around your football game to get folks to come. It’s not an inexpensive endeavor for someone to come that is not from Northwest Arkansas to drive across the state. Potentially get a hotel room that has got a two night minimum. Eat in restaurants, come to the game, tailgate and things of that nature. So we have got to make sure that there is a value there.”
Fans will continue to get their money’s worth in years to come with several high profile non-conference games on tap in home and home series which have been recently announced including four games with Oklahoma State through the 2033 season.
“The Oklahoma State game is a great game for us. Their fans can come to Fayetteville. Our fans can go to Stillwater,” says Yurachek. “That makes a great deal of regional sense for us from that standpoint.”
For those wondering about why games are scheduled so far out in advance Yurachek says it has to do with fewer non-conference games being available.
“There is a limited number of those games because the majority of the power five conferences play nine conference games. So you’ve got to do that much further in advance than I am even comfortable with.”
Arkansas is set to open up the 2019 season against non-conference and FCS Portland State on August 31st inside Razorback Stadium on a new grass playing field which was recently put down inside the stadium.
“I walked across it yesterday morning. It looks great. It doesn’t move when you are walking across it. It is a great addition to that stadium,” Yurachek said. “I mean we talk about being the natural state. It is really cool.”
Continue to follow the Pig Trail Nation on the web, Hogville.net and on our social media pages for more as the Hogs get set to kickoff the 2019 season.