50-yard-line seats: Pricey 

50-yard-line seats: Pricey

The University of Arkansas Athletic Department recently announced that it was raising the price on required donations for preferred seating for Hog football games in Razorback and War Memorial Stadiums next year. The required contribution for a midfield seat in Razorback Stadium will double, from $150 to $300, which the UA claims is a fraction of the cost of similar seats at such schools as Alabama.

But wait. It's a little more complicated than that. Say you want to have prime seats next year for your family of four and you've never had them before. To qualify for seats between the 40-yardlines, you must be a Broyles-Matthews level, or $5,000, donor to the Razorback Fund. But that covers any additional seat charge, up to 10 tickets. Don't forget you have to buy the tickets themselves, too. A single ticket for all seven games in Fayetteville and Little Rock this year costs $375, or $1,500 for four. So if there's a seven-game slate next year at the same price, your family's four midfield seats for all Hog games will cost you $6,500 —$928 per game or $232 per ticket. Even for the likes of Louisiana Monroe and Tennessee Tech. A parking pass is included, however, if that's any consolation. Cokes and popcorn extra. CORRECTION: The original version of this item erroneously included a seat contribution charge as part of the total price.

Water ways

Yahoo recently ran an article on "15 things you can do without." This was one of the 15: "Water — Besides the monthly utility bill, there's no reason to shell out $1 for every bottle of water you drink. Bottled water is so last-decade anyway. We're over it, and into tap, filters and reusable water bottles. It's cheaper for you and better for the environment."

The potentate of Arkansas bottled water is Breck Speed, president of the venerable Mountain Valley Spring Water, headquartered in Hot Springs. We asked him if the bottled-water business was drying up, so to speak. He responded:

"The bottled water business overall is up 2.3% this year over last, and Mountain Valley is doing much better, with a 6% increase. We kind of fit a nice spot for all those folks that don't like plastic because we've been selling in glass for 139 years. We are kinda retro cool again!" (Mountain Valley uses both glass and plastic containers.)

UALR raises the bar

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has announced it hit the $75 million target of the "It's Time for UALR" fund drive 18 months early and so has increased the goal to $100 million. The drive has paid for construction of four new buildings and renovation of two others. Projects include engineering, information technology and nanotechnology.

A UALR release touted the contributions of the school's faculty and staff. More than 50 percent contributed a total of $2.5 million.



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