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We chat more about preseason matters, including Fall Camp, AJ Turner, Sun Belt Media Day and more. Join the guys for the Wolfcast!
We’re less than two months from kickoff! The guys chat about the off season, the 2014 team and changes in the Sun Belt. They also talk about the controversy around the 2015 Mizzou game. Lots of great stuff in the latest edition of the Wolfcast!
This mess has been brewing for a while. I can’t put a specific date on when I first heard about the idea of moving the 2015 home game against the Missouri Tigers from Jonesboro, but I believe it initially came in a discussion about War Memorial Stadium. Someone asked Mohajir about the possibility of bringing the Red Wolves to Little Rock, and his simple reply was he was getting cash offers for the Red Wolves to play in remote locations rather than War Memorial’s requirement of a rental fee. Essentially dismissing the idea of paying to pay in Central Arkansas because someone else is willing to pay for one of our home games. While many fans thought this was an interesting oddity to be brushed aside, it’s become clear that Mohajir hasn’t.
Reports are $2 million is the offer to move the game to Kansas City and $1.5 million to move the game to St Louis. These are quite impressive payouts. This season ASU will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee for a $1 million payout and here are two offers that are significantly higher. But the math isn’t that clear. Rather than receiving the payout for one game, the division should actually be for two games. 2013 and 2015 would be games against Missouri in their home state. This simple arithmetic cuts the true payout in half.
In an effort to sweeten the turd sandwich fans would have to swallow, Mohajir seems to have eliminated Kansas City from consideration. Sure the payout would be 33% larger on the west side of the Show-Me State, but St Louis’ proximity to Jonesboro makes the 4 hour drive more plausible for fans. Never mind that Mohajir has yet to truly fill Centennial Bank Stadium with fans that need only drive 15 minutes, a feat that would most assuredly be accomplished by hosting the Tigers.
When fans learned of the home and home deal had been inked with the Tigers in early 2013, many swelled with pride. I know I did. This was a signal to the rest of the nation, that we were graduating from a straw team to throw money at for a victory. ASU was now a team on the rise. A team that was worthy of hosting a BCS caliber opponent. I began my regular routine of bragging over facebook and in discussion. Fans looked forward to the 2015 season, as this game symbolized a step in ASU’s rise.
Simply put, Mohajir needs to figure out what is more important to the program, money or fans. And don’t think we won’t forfeit potential fans over this. Playing in St Louis is an attempt to split the baby. We’ll get less money and few fans will be there. If we’re in need of the money, play in Kansas City. But I vote for the fans.
Mohajir needs to play this game in Jonesboro. If we really need the money, we can schedule a couple additional money games. Playing for money hasn’t been a challenge for the program, but bringing a high caliber opponent to Jonesboro has been. We don’t need to spoil this opportunity to bring in new fans, and showcase our program.
I think the scarier point that no one seems to be talking about is what this says about Mohajir. I’m a fan of TM, or at least have been. But entertaining moves like this makes me question his tactics. You can’t doubt the improvement in facilities, but we still haven’t filled the stadium. In our highest attended games under TM, many doubt the published attendance figures. And I for one, would like to see the Red Wolves come to Little Rock and develop the “state wide” fan base that we were promised. But the new phrasing is building from “Jonesboro out”. He has been heard inviting people to make ASU their #2 program. I’m still on the bandwagon, but I’ve got one eye on the driver and am paying more attention to the road signs.
The guys review the action in the GoDaddy Bowl. It was an exciting win for the Red Wolves. They talk about the season highs and lows. Then the guys peer into the off season. Join us for the Wolfcast!
The GoDaddy Bowl is just a few days a way. The guys look at the Ball State Cardinals, and what it will take for ASU to get the big victory. The guys also look into the hiring of Coach Blake Anderson, set to be ASU’s next head coach. Download the show and subscribe through iTunes!