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Mith242

Sports in Arkansas

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I thought since it's been a bit too quiet in the Arkansas forum recently that maybe we could get things going with another topic. We have discussed some sports related topics already. Of course there's high school and college sports, with the razorbacks being a major sports related topic. I don't mind any discussions dealing with those, but at the start I was wanting to find out more about some of the pro or semi-pro sports in Arkansas. Or then again maybe that should be worded as in Little Rock. Are there any located anywhere else outside of the Little Rock/North Little Rock area? A while back I had heard rumours of a hockey team possibly in Texarkana. But I don't know if that ever went through or if it's still around. From what I've heard there at one time were two hockey teams in the Little Rock/North Little Rock area. But I don't think they worked out too well and as far as I know they don't exist. Of course there is the Arkansas Travelers in Little Rock (or maybe North Little Rock in the future). I believe there is also an AFL2 team playing in central Arkansas. I also know of the Rimrockers, are they ABA? I was just wanting to know more about the sports going on in Little Rock. We don't news on them very much here in northwest Arkansas. But I also have no problem speaking about college or other sports.

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That's great hopefully they'll keep the success going a little better than some of the other teams I've heard about from down there.

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I thought since it's been a bit too quiet in the Arkansas forum recently that maybe we could get things going with another topic.  We have discussed some sports related topics already.  Of course there's high school and college sports, with the razorbacks being a major sports related topic.  I don't mind any discussions dealing with those, but at the start I was wanting to find out more about some of the pro or semi-pro sports in Arkansas.  Or then again maybe that should be worded as in Little Rock.  Are there any located anywhere else outside of the Little Rock/North Little Rock area?  A while back I had heard rumours of a hockey team possibly in Texarkana.  But I don't know if that ever went through or if it's still around.  From what I've heard there at one time were two hockey teams in the Little Rock/North Little Rock area.  But I don't think they worked out too well and as far as I know they don't exist.  Of course there is the Arkansas Travelers in Little Rock (or maybe North Little Rock in the future).  I believe there is also an AFL2 team playing in central Arkansas.  I also know of the Rimrockers, are they ABA?  I was just wanting to know more about the sports going on in Little Rock.  We don't news on them very much here in northwest Arkansas.  But I also have no problem speaking about college or other sports.

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The RimRockers are my favorite, and I have a long history of being a RimRocker fan. I've kept up with them the past season.

They used to be part of the ABA. In this league, they were the creme of the crop and had the highest average attendance (around 5000) in the league. The next highest was around 1000. The ABA was a terrible, unorganized league. Games weren't played, teams didn't always arrive, etc. Because of their great track record, they were allowed to join the NBDL, which is the National Basketball Development League. It's the farming league for the NBA, and Little Rock is very lucky to be in the likes of Austin, Tulsa, Alberquerque, Fort Worth, etc. It's the premiere minor league franchise.

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The RimRockers are my favorite, and I have a long history of being a RimRocker fan.    I've kept up with them the past season.

They used to be part of the ABA.  In this league, they were the creme of the crop and had the highest average attendance (around 5000) in the league.  The next highest was around 1000.  The ABA was a terrible, unorganized league.  Games weren't played, teams didn't always arrive, etc.  Because of their great track record, they were allowed to join the NBDL, which is the National Basketball Development League.  It's the farming league for the NBA, and Little Rock is very lucky to be in the likes of Austin, Tulsa, Alberquerque, Fort Worth, etc.  It's the premiere minor league franchise.

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Oh yeah I do think I remember hearing a little about this. It does sound like a good situation but I think I heard that this also means they won't be able to have all the former Razorback players either though.

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That's sort of true.

The NBDL emphasizes younger players, so old Razorback greats (in their 30s) will not get to play. I think the average ages are around 25.

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That's sort of true. 

The NBDL emphasizes younger players, so old Razorback greats (in their 30s) will not get to play.  I think the average ages are around 25.

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There are advantages and disadvantages to it. I guess the biggest disadvantage is that I think many people enjoyed watching the former Razorback players.

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So what about hockey? I'm pretty sure at least one team folded in central Arkansas. Is there any hockey teams left in central Arkansas? A couple of years ago I heard the possibility of a hockey team in Texarkana. Are there any anywhere in Arkansas?

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So the ABA is dead? What a suprise there. Nashville had a team owned by some really weird folks who fired their coach on court one game over a decision one of the owners didn't like, that promptly made ESPN and the cable news channels. They followed that up by not playing in the playoffs even though they made it. Good riddance.

Cool to hear Little Rock supported their team and it got picked up by the NBDL. Someplace like Little Rock can get behind and properly support teams like this, even in bad leagues, which is great IMO. In LR case it got rewarded by having their team survive the demise of the ABA and get into what I'm sure is going to be a much better ran league.

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So the ABA is dead? What a suprise there. Nashville had a team owned by some really weird folks who fired their coach on court one game over a decision one of the owners didn't like, that promptly made ESPN and the cable news channels. They followed that up by not playing in the playoffs even though they made it. Good riddance.

Cool to hear Little Rock supported their team and it got picked up by the NBDL. Someplace like Little Rock can get behind and properly support teams like this, even in bad leagues, which is great IMO. In LR case it got rewarded by having their team survive the demise of the ABA and get into what I'm sure is going to be a much better ran league.

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maybe I just hadn't heard the news but I don't think I heard that the ABA was dead. I had just got the impression that they had an opportunity to switch over to the NBDL and went for it. But maybe I'm mistaken, my area of Arkansas doesn't always cover things going on in central Arkansas very well.

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Oh, I was under the impression from the posts it was. If it isn't I wouldn't bet to strongly on it surviving unless things drastically change in its operation. I think either way Little Rock is better off with its team in a much more stable league.

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Actually, I still keep up with the ABA somewhat. The league is a disaster;it's hilarious.

Joe Newman, the CEO, is a crazy man, to be blunt. I used to be part of the the ABA Yahoo Group where he would make crazy rants. The CEO. Yes, it really was him.

They still exist. In fact, they had a major expansion: they have something around 70 teams. Joe Newman calls it progress, but some of the teams have already folded without even beginning. Some of the teams still don't have a venue secured even though the season starts in November. It's ridiculously funny. Luckily Crain (RimRocker owner) was able to make his ABA team very successful and secure the biggest venue in the league by about 15,000 (Alltel Arena).

So we got to join the NBDL.

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I'll go ahead and jump into this headfirst.

It goes without saying that sports in the context of this board should be discussed in the context of Arkansas development. I'm a big sports fan, but I won't get into a discussion of what happens on the field, or court.

In Arkansas of course, our Razorbacks are #1 on the sports scene. The only professional franchises I'm aware of are the Arkansas Travelers, in Class AA baseball, the Arkansas Twisters in Arena Football 2, and the Arkansas Rimrockers, formerly of the ABA, now members of the NBDL. There are other semi-professional teams that are unimportant for the sake of this topic.

I've already discussed the Travelers in the thread about the proposed new ballpark in North Little Rock, so I won't rehash it. The Gazette did say that early voter turnout is high, and has said before that approval is expected. This would secure the state's oldest, and most vital professional team.

The RimRockers were an overwhelming success story in their first year, on the court, and in the stands. Winning the ABA, a joke of a league, in their first year, the move the NBA-supported NBDL should stabilize this young franchise. What this means is that now the team serves another purpose than just entertaining and winning. It must develop prospects for the NBA. I get the feeling that it is still in a nebulous stage as far as whether it will be a normal feeder to the NBA, such as Minor League Baseball is to MLB. There will only be a limited number of teams to ensure that only players with NBA potential are there, and teams will select from a draft pool. The drawback is that some of the former Razorbacks, who attracted the large crowds, will no longer be kept. One can be that the RimRockers will still try to snatch up any player with Arkansas connections it can. Whether the fan support continues after the switch will be interesting to see. Their facility, Alltel Arena, seats 18,000.

The Arkansas Twisters are basically a minor league Arena Football team, and I think even the AFL is hokey. It has received good fan support, however, despite abysmal performance. I can't imagine them being around forever, but who knows?

To answer your question, Mith, Little Rock did have two minor league hockey teams, the GlacierCats, and the RiverBlades, which began a year later. The RiverBlades were more successful, which was likely due to the fact that they played in Alltel Arena, while the GlacierCats were stuck in Barton Colosseum. The teams were in different leagues, which I am not familiar with. It came as no surprise when the teams collapsed after brief existances. There just isn't interest in that sport in the South, except maybe markets with a number of yankee transplants. I say good riddance to hockey in the Natural State.

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I'll go ahead and jump into this headfirst.

It goes without saying that sports in the context of this board should be discussed in the context of Arkansas development. I'm a big sports fan, but I won't get into a discussion of what happens on the field, or court.

In Arkansas of course, our Razorbacks are #1 on the sports scene. The only professional franchises I'm aware of are the Arkansas Travelers, in Class AA baseball, the Arkansas Twisters in Arena Football 2, and the Arkansas Rimrockers, formerly of the ABA, now members of the NBDL. There are other semi-professional teams that are unimportant for the sake of this topic.

I've already discussed the Travelers in the thread about the proposed new ballpark in North Little Rock, so I won't rehash it. The Gazette did say that early voter turnout is high, and has said before that approval is expected. This would secure the state's oldest, and most vital professional team.

The RimRockers were an overwhelming success story in their first year, on the court, and in the stands. Winning the ABA, a joke of a league, in their first year, the move the NBA-supported NBDL should stabilize this young franchise. What this means is that now the team serves another purpose than just entertaining and winning. It must develop prospects for the NBA. I get the feeling that it is still in a nebulous stage as far as whether it will be a normal feeder to the NBA, such as Minor League Baseball is to MLB. There will only be a limited number of teams to ensure that only players with NBA potential are there, and teams will select from a draft pool. The drawback is that some of the former Razorbacks, who attracted the large crowds, will no longer be kept. One can be that the RimRockers will still try to snatch up any player with Arkansas connections it can. Whether the fan support continues after the switch will be interesting to see. Their facility, Alltel Arena, seats 18,000.

The Arkansas Twisters are basically a minor league Arena Football team, and I think even the AFL is hokey. It has received good fan support, however, despite abysmal performance. I can't imagine them being around forever, but who knows?

To answer your question, Mith, Little Rock did have two minor league hockey teams, the GlacierCats, and the RiverBlades, which began a year later. The RiverBlades were more successful, which was likely due to the fact that they played in Alltel Arena, while the GlacierCats were stuck in Barton Colosseum. The teams were in different leagues, which I am not familiar with. It came as no surprise when the teams collapsed after brief existances. There just isn't interest in that sport in the South, except maybe markets with a number of yankee transplants. I say good riddance to hockey in the Natural State.

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Yeah when I started this topic I wasn't exactly intending it on necessarily going into detail about a particular game or anything. I'd just was wanting to find out more about pro or semi-pro sports in Arkansas. Or from the sound of it in the Little Rock area. If Little Rock couldn't support a hockey team then I doubt any of the talk about Texarkana having one worked out either. I can't say hockey is my favorite sport, but if that's all we had a chance of getting up here I'd take it. But I do think other sports would be much more likely to be successfull. Maybe we'll eventually get a minor league baseball team here in northwest Arkansas. That would probably be our best bet in the near future.

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Not sure if anyone caught it but ESPN was in Arkansas for Saturday. Part of their 50 in 50 thing going on. They had a interview with Jerry Jones and they mentioned many Arkansas athletes from the past. They had a small crew at Greers Ferry Lake for the cardboard boat festival.

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Thought I'd put out a few questions and see what people thought. Can anyone forsee a time where Little Rock would be able to attract a major sport team? I don't know what the projections on the Little Rock MSA to see say in 2050, but will Arkansas ever have a population center large enough to attract something like that? Oklahoma City I don't believe have anything yet. Memphis did manage to get an NBA team. Population doesn't figure into everything but I would imagine that being one of the factors holding back Little Rock.

On another note, I would imagine northwest Arkansas being the next likely area to be able to pull in a semi-pro or minor league team to Arkansas. Anyone have any predictions on what sport will be the first? And outside of central and northwest Arkansas. Is there any other area that might possibly attract a semi-pro or minor league team anywhere in the near furture? Just wanted to get some people's opinions.

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Never.

Because other cities that already have pro sports teams will continue to grow too.

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That was sorta my thinking. I guess the only way I could really see it happening is somewhere in the future when Little Rock was bigger and had someone with enough money to buy a team and then move it to Little Rock.

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Regarding hockey, there were two team at once because one entered the market before Alltel Arena was built. Initially, the Glaciercats of the somewhat amateurish Central Hockey League did very well in attendance playing at Barton Coliseum. When Alltel Arena was finished a new team came in from the East Coast Hockey League, a higher grade league that was more of a true NHL minor league - these were the Riverblades. Competing with each other attendance dropped and the Glaciercats folded. The Riverblades did decently I guess but like most other teams in the area attendance was moderate at best. More importantly, though, Alltel Arena was tired of having to schedule high-revenue concerts and events around games that drew only 3000 or so. Alltel made it clear they really don't want hockey back, so another team would have to play at Barton which is undesirable to most. There has been talk of bringing a new team and having them play at the Convention Center adjacent to the Peabody but freezing the floor will be difficult.

Texarkana briefly had a Central Hockey League (same as the Glaciercats) which is not surprising - they were in lots of smaller places like Abilene, etc. I think they flopped pretty quickly, though.

Personally, I could give two craps about hockey. I would like to see the Travs in a nice stadium and the Rimrockers and Twisters stick around and do well, though.

Now, Springdale has been trying to get a baseball team for a while but it would have to be non-major league affiliated because there are no nearby A or rookie league teams.

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Texarkana briefly had a Central Hockey League (same as the Glaciercats) which is not surprising - they were in lots of smaller places like Abilene, etc.  I think they flopped pretty quickly, though.

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Texarkana now has a team called the Bandits in the North American Hockey League, which is a junior 'A" league that is played by 16-20 year olds. The Bandits currently play at Four States Arena, but will be moving to a new arena in the winter of '06. The new 3,000-seat arena will be a multipurpose sports/entertainment facility that will be part of a large sportplex. I came across an article in the Texarkana Gazette that has a history of hockey in Texarkana and info about the new arena.

http://www.texarkanagazette.com/articles/2...news/news01.txt

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I guess I'm a little surprised Texarkana was able to pull in a hockey team and we weren't up here in northwest Arkansas. Maybe not enough people up here tried pulling for a team to come here.

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I guess I'm a little surprised Texarkana was able to pull in a hockey team and we weren't up here in northwest Arkansas.  Maybe not enough people up here tried pulling for a team to come here.

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Mith, I think y'all should definitely go for an independent minor league baseball team. It sounds like Springdale is pursuing one since they're building that complex. Those teams tend to do better than other minor league sports because of the appeal of baseball. Hockey doesn't do well in these parts, and, as I've said, I was glad to see it leave Central Arkansas.

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Mith, I think y'all should definitely go for an independent minor league baseball team. It sounds like Springdale is pursuing one since they're building that complex. Those teams tend to do better than other minor league sports because of the appeal of baseball. Hockey doesn't do well in these parts, and, as I've said, I was glad to see it leave Central Arkansas.

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Yeah I do think baseball would be a better sport up here than hockey. But I wouldn't turn away a hockey team away either.

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