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A&M-Arkansas series at Cowboys Stadium falling short financially

Texas A&M v Arkansas Getty Images

Scheduled to play each other at Cowboys Stadium each of the next seven years, the Arkansas-Texas A&M series could find itself doomed thanks to the failure to meet financial projections, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reported over the weekend.

The 10-year series, which was first played in 2009 and dubbed “The Southwest Classic”, was expected to make in the neighborhood of $5 million for each school per year. ¬†According to the paper, and by way of an open records request, A&M was paid $4.2 million for the first game, a figure that dropped to $2.9 million for the 2010 game. ¬†The numbers for the 2011 game were not yet available, and the Razorbacks’ take for the first two games was not listed.

As a result, the Eagle writes, “its continued existence as a neutral-site game may be in jeopardy.”

A&M will be moving from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2012, with writing that “A&M’s 2012 schedule will include a game against Arkansas at Kyle Field”, not at Cowboys Stadium per the contract signed in April of 2008.

A&M athletic director Bill Byrne told the Eagle that the future of the series is still up in the air, and that the two school will need to continue discussions on which direction they should head.

“We wanted to play Arkansas in the Metroplex,” Byrne said. “We felt once we lost our contacts with TCU and SMU, we needed a presence in the Metroplex. We still think we do.

“Having said that, we need to talk to Arkansas and see whether they want to continue having a conference game in the Metroplex.”

The SEC is expected to release its 2012 schedule as early as today, so there should be some short-term clarity for the series in the not-too-distant future.

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8 Responses to “A&M-Arkansas series at Cowboys Stadium falling short financially”
  1. woebegong says: Dec 26, 2011 9:47 AM

    Interest might pick up again, with both being in the SEC west now. It is a matter of whether or not, the schedule can be worked out. With a 14 team SEC now, scheduling of new rivalries, is a little harder, even though this one has a contract to be fulfilled. It really will probably depend on how both of the teams play in the SEC. A&M will need a couple of years to adjust to the SEC, and Arkansas is suppose to be in pretty good shape for 2012.

  2. gorilladunk says: Dec 26, 2011 10:39 AM

    Interested in why the payout dropped so dramatically. The place was a sellout, so the financial numbers should be pretty much the same as previous years. A&M and , especially Arkansas, DO need a regular presence in the D/FW area. When Ark. left for the SEC, their recruiting in Texas was hurt dramatically. Since A&M bolted for the SEC, their brand will decline somewhat in most parts of Tex. since they probably won’t be able to schedule games with Big 12 schools for several years.

  3. woebegong says: Dec 26, 2011 11:06 AM

    I think A&M will benefit pretty well from being able to recruit some more from the south. Traditionally the south produces more athletes than the SEC can recruit in a single year, and now with the addition of two more schools, they should have access to these kids. I am not sure how Missouri will do , because that is stretching it for some of these kids, but just being associated with the SEC, might be enough in some cases. People will always have something negative to say about the SEC, but the record is undeniable. These young recruits like to go to schools close to home if possible, and with the teams that the SEC produces and their records, for most SEC schools, a kid can’t go wrong.
    If the stadium was full for the game, it may have to do with sponsors and the economy then. Some businesses have been severely hurt and others are just waiting for the complete down fall to hit them. I have always wondered though, when a company like Walmart, is so tight with the sponsorship bucks in football. I guess it must be a management thing, as if anything, they have actually thrived in this poor economic climate. Then again, you don’t see them ever endorsing a political candidate, at least not as a company, so maybe they are just good at staying out of the limelight and remaining profitable at the same time.

  4. centexhorn says: Dec 26, 2011 12:47 PM


  5. cyraider says: Dec 26, 2011 1:36 PM

    Baaaahahahahahahaha A&M is soooo valuable they’re too good for the ‘lesser’ bigXII so they cry like little girls, don’t get their way and run away. Facts: they went 6-6 in the big 12, they fired their coach, they will now make less money in the SEC and probably be exceedingly more mediocre than they were…now they forced a rivalry with Arkansas (who has owned them) and still nobody cares about them. Lol love it

  6. floridacock says: Dec 26, 2011 5:43 PM

    No surprise here. Both the NCAA and the NFL think all their fans have unlimited funds. Putting this game in this huge stadium and crying about the lack of fans traveling to it is just so typical. PEOPLE ARE BROKE! And your industry, entertainment, is taking, rightfully, the biggest hit. People have bills to pay. Home and home is the way to go in college ball. Best for both schools fans.

  7. jdillydawg says: Dec 26, 2011 8:12 PM

    Wow, even A&M wants to get out of College Station! It’s like the only way they can hold a half time lead is to not play at home or away, but find a neutral site.

    But seriously, why do they need a presence in the Metroplex? Are they so arrogant as to think SMU and TCU can’t handle it alone? And what does it mean they “lost” their contract with those two schools? If they stayed in the Big 12, maybe they would have had a chance to play TCU again.

  8. cobweb1975 says: Jan 4, 2012 10:34 PM

    This series should be canned. Change it to Arkansas and the University of Texas! WOOO pig!

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