Thursday, August 29, 2013

How much did you pay for your Razorback football ticket?

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 7:12 AM

click to enlarge PREFERRED SEATING: The best seats at War Memorial require big extra payments. For some people.
  • PREFERRED SEATING: The best seats at War Memorial require big extra payments. For some people.

The football season begins Saturday with the Razorbacks playing the former SLI Bulldogs (Southwestern  Louisiana Institute) at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. (How could I have confused the home field originally? Clearly I haven't been paying close enough attention to events on the field.)

Some will have better seats than others. Some with better seats will have paid dearly for the privilege. Some not.

I reported recently that three statewide officeholders — Gov. Mike Beebe, Auditor Charlie Daniels and Lt. Gov. Mark Darr — bought season tickets in 2011. Darr used money from an open campaign account post-election, a dubious personal expenditure for four season tickets. But none of them paid the required contribution to the nominally independent Razorback Foundation for their priority seats — midfield for Mike Beebe and Daniels, down around the 20 for Darr.

I learned from that episode that it is University of Arkansas policy to waive the required contribution for priority seating for state constitutional officers, legislators, members of the state Higher Education Coordinating Board and members of the University of Arkansas faculty and staff. Relying on a badly outdated advisory opinion from the Ethics Commission, the university believes conferring a benefit worth as much as $10,000 in the case of the midfield seats does not constitute either a favor available to public officials on account of their job (nominally prohibited by law) or a gift of something of value to a public official of more than $100, also nominally prohibited by ethics rules. Back when the 2000 advisory opinion was issued, season tickets cost $100 for four games at Fayetteville and scholarship contributions were much rarer. The cheapest single ticket this year is $45 and ranges to $65 depending on the opponent, but can range much higher depending on location for season tickets in the Fayetteville stadium.

I've forged ahead with an information request to get a deeper look at who exactly gets the cheap seats among the Razorback and War Memorial Stadium crowds.

I learned this additional information yesterday from Kevin Trainor, who functions as official spokesperson for the Athletic Department, about season tickets for faculty and staff, not required to pay the additional seat charge (scholarship contribution):

Faculty/Staff Tickets

2011 1,312
2012 1,217
2013 1,236

Assignment of ticket location within the faculty/staff pool is first determined by Razorback Foundation membership priority. Following that process, those faculty/staff who are not Razorback Foundation members are assigned by priority based on the date of purchase. Faculty and staff members are limited to two bench seat tickets under those guidelines. Any additional purchase of tickets and/or purchase of premium seats (clubs) would be subject to the seat value donation.

Rather than overburden the secretive Razorback Foundation, which is funneled millions from priority seat sales by a public university but is sufficiently coordinated that Trainor can dislodge information not available to the general public, I haven't asked for a breakdown on staff names and locations at this point.

I am interested in what's to come on the legislature and Higher Education board. I have also asked under the FOI for anyone else who might have been granted a waiver for whatever reason.

Here's the rundown on required contributions — in addition to face value of tickets — to get better seats at the two stadiums.

PS — I believe legislators get special parking, too. That's another perk that only the top-level contributors get. It is, in other words, worth money.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Dexter Suggs resigns as Little Rock school superintendent

    This just in from state Education Department: Today, Commissioner Johnny Key reached an agreement with Dr. Dexter Suggs that resulted in Dr. Suggs’ immediate resignation as superintendent of the Little Rock School District.
    • Apr 21, 2015
  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More legal headaches for Dexter Suggs

    Dexter Suggs may have cleared out his office before the workday began today, but he still has lingering legal matters as defendant in lawsuits against him and the state.
    • Apr 21, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation