FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – When Razorback fans head to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium for football games this fall they can look forward to a variety of new amenities to enhance the game day experience. New LED ribbon boards, improved audio distribution, modern stadium graphics, a new synthetic playing surface and game day access to the football museum in the Broyles Athletic Center are just a few of the enhancements for the 2009 season.
As previously announced, message boards on the east and west sides of the stadium are being replaced with larger full-color LED display systems. On the west side, two 90-foot systems are being replaced with ribbon boards approximately 330 total feet in length. On the east, two 90-foot systems are being replaced with two 100-foot boards. The new full-color boards will be more interactive for fans with messages, statistics and updated scores from other games.
In an effort to enhance audio throughout the stadium, the 53 primary outdoor speakers will be replaced providing updated technology with fiberglass encasement for better protection and quality uniform sound coverage.
The north end zone has a new look as a collage of themed graphics has been installed on the field level windows of the Broyles Athletic Center. The graphics include a depiction of the menacing eyes and tusks of the Razorback as well as several football team related photos. In addition, newly designed stadium banners featuring the “100 Years of the Razorback” logo will adorn the retaining walls at field level on the east and west sidelines, and in the south end zone.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference will be the new synthetic playing surface that was installed over the summer. The new surface from Sportexe, PowerBlade 2.5, is also in use at M&T Field, the home of the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens, and at the Louisiana Superdome, the home of the New Orleans Saints.
Just prior to Arkansas taking the field, fans will also be treated to a new team entry video that features members of the 2009 team and highlights of some of the greatest moments in Razorback football history.
Fans can also re-live some of the most memorable coaches, players and games in the history of Arkansas football by visiting the Jerry Jones / Jim Lindsey Hall of Champions in the Broyles Athletic Center on game day. The museum, featuring exhibits and mementoes from the proud history of the Razorbacks, will be open to fans from 8 a.m. until 2.5 hours before kickoff. Beginning 2.5 hours prior to kickoff, the Broyles Center will be closed in preparation for the Razorbacks’ team arrival. Only properly credentialed personnel will be allowed in the Broyles Center for the remainder of the day.
Outside the stadium, pregame traffic routes will begin four hours prior to kickoff. Last year for some games, traffic flow was implemented three hours prior to game time.
An internal review of policies and procedures as well as the University of Arkansas’ continued commitment to the safety and security of those attending the games resulted in a number of additional changes for the upcoming season. Some of the most notable changes include:
· Public gates to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will open two hours prior to kickoff.
Based on early arrival stadium entry numbers from last season, public gates will open two hours prior to kickoff instead of three, which will also help reduce game day expenses. Suite holders will still be permitted access at specific gates (C, 1 and 15) three hours prior to kickoff.
· The area immediately south of the stadium between the practice fields and south end zone structure will be closed to foot traffic immediately following the first quarter and will remain closed during the game and through one hour following the game.
All pedestrians accustomed to using the drive between the south stadium and practice fields to access east or west sides of the stadium will require another pathway. This change has been prompted by numerous safety risks to pedestrians with emergency and working vehicular traffic also moving within this area. This area will remain open to pedestrians before games with a brief closure upon arrival of visiting team buses.
· ATM machines have been placed at four locations inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.ATM machines are located inside the stadium on the East side ground level (behind Gate 15), on the South side (near Gate 1), East Indoor Club and the South Outdoor Club. · Chairback rentals are available on an individual game basis.
This year fans have the opportunity to enjoy Arkansas football in comfort by renting a Razorback seatback for individual games in addition to the season packages. Game-day rentals will be available through the Stadium Seatback Rental Service Centers located near Gates 1, 6, 15 and also on the West upper deck.
· Seven first aid stations, including four permanent locations, are inside the stadium along with 13 automated external defibrillators.
Four permanent first aid stations, an increase from three in the past, are located inside the stadium along with three satellite stations. First aid stations are on the ground level concourse behind sections 102 and 103, and on the level five concourse behind section 502 on the West side; on level four in the South Indoor Club near the stairwell for levels three, four and five in the South end zone; and on the ground level by Gate 15, ground level concourse near Gate 14, on level three in the East Indoor Club north of the elevators and on level five behind Section 514 on the East side. In addition to the first aid stations, 13 permanent automated external defibrillators (AED) are located throughout the stadium, which is an increase of 10 over last year. The total of AED stations does not include the additional units brought to the stadium by Central EMS as part of its typical game day setup.
· As part of the new student ticket procedure, University of Arkansas students must redeem purchased vouchers for an actual ticket for the game.
Students still can attend Razorback games for $1 per game, but will purchase a season voucher book. The vouchers must be redeemed for a guaranteed ticket on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday the week of each game at the Razorback Ticket Office on Razorback Road or in the University Union from 8-5 p.m. Students have until the close of business on Wednesday to pick up a guaranteed ticket. Students can continue to redeem vouchers for tickets at the UA Ticket Office only through Friday as long as seats remain available. Beginning on Thursday, unclaimed student tickets become assigned seats and will be offered to Razorback Foundation members for $45 each. Beginning Friday, any remaining unclaimed student tickets will be made available to the general public for $45 each. Student vouchers will not be accepted for valid admission on game day. All student vouchers must be redeemed for a ticket for admission.
Season tickets for all Razorback games are still available by calling the UA Ticket Office at 1-800-982-HOGS or going online to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
The first Fayetteville game is Saturday against Georgia at 6:45 p.m.