Question of the Day: Monday, April 16, 2018
Does any other college football team play games at more than one location?
Lots of teams in FBS play neutral-site games. Those have become especially en vogue in recent years as sports go further and further toward blatantly being business ventures instead of amateur competitions. Neutral-site games, the theory is, increase exposure for programs in a certain geographical location.
Arkansas, for example, has decided with Texas A&M to play their annual game against each other in Arlington, Texas. On the surface, this appears to be an advantage for the Aggies — and, really, it might be considering Arkansas hasn’t won a game in the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium since the series began playing there.
The idea, though, is that Arkansas playing in the Metroplex puts the Razorbacks in mind to Dallas-area teens who may now consider going to Arkansas to play football. No quantifiable number can measure whether that works, period, nevermind whether it works when Arkansas goes and loses the game every single season.
Still, it’s a notion in this day and age as to why Arkansas continues to play games in Little Rock. The premise is antiquated for neutral-site games, even (the internet is a real thing, folks). It’s especially silly for games in-state. No one else does it, unless we’re talking about Wisconsin playing at Lambeau Field or Boston College playing at Fenway Park, as both have in recent years.
Immediately, the only FBS school I could find that plays its home games more than a stone’s throw away from campus is Connecticut. UConn used to play in Storrs, where the school is located, but as the program grew from FCS (then Division I-AA) to FBS (then Division I-A), the stadium was just too small. The long and the short is, to move up, DI officials wanted UConn to have superior facilities. So, the school entered into an agreement with the state to play games at Rentschler Field in East Hartford in 2003. From campus to Rentschler is about 25 miles.
Of course, Connecticut is a small enough state, the entire population can get to East Hartford in less than two hours. Maximum. Connecticut, too, is like Arkansas in that one program holds a vast, vast majority of the state’s interest (sorry, Arkansas State).
Yet, War Memorial Stadium being “home of the Hogs” is a thing. Inexplicably, as though this were the Dark Ages, aka: 1990s.
It shows no signs of changing any time, soon, either.
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