UA Little Rock in talks to get own football program after students start petiton

Football might be on its way to UA Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Arkansas' favorite pastime might be coming to UA Little Rock.

“Everybody loves football,” said UA Little Rock student Elvis Mull.

It won’t be easy.

“It’s a daunting task, it’s an enormous initiative,” said Chasse Conque.

But it's possible.

“We’ve got a phenomenal stadium down the street and that’s a given,” Conque said.

1,000 students signed a petition started by the student government to bring football to Little Rock.

“I think it would be great for the school, to help with school spirit,” said Mull.

“I think it started a conversation and it’s not a new conversation,” added Conque.

The chatter is timely, with War Memorial Stadium’s contract with the Razorbacks set to expire in 2018.

“The contract coming up in 2018 with the razorbacks, it’s kind of prompted some people to be talking about what’s going to happen in the future,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.

With War Memorial being handed over to the State Department of Parks and Tourism, the Trojan fan base might be in luck.

“Of the 12 conferences that we have in the country, D1 conferences, there’s 122 schools and there’s only two that do not have a football team,” said Stodola.

Friday the mayor will meet with Parks and Tourism to discuss the stadium.

“It’s an issue for the recruitment of students. Enrollment drives the financial end of a university,” said Stodola.

Building a football program at Little Rock wouldn't be cheap.

“$20 million to $30 million probably up front. You got a facility you have to build, you gotta get this thing off the ground,” said Conque. “Some of it’s paid for in student fees as it is in other college campuses.”

It would also ignite other new beginnings on campus

“Title 9 comes into play, to be with compliance we probably would have to add at least a couple of female sports,” said Conque.

The timeline is in the air. The administrative staff would likely have to double if this happens. However, the UA Little Rock SGA certainly made their point.

“I think it would just bring a big oomph to student life,” said Mull.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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