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New rules set for Nov. 6 game

10/20/2003 - Arkansas Razorbacks

LITTLE ROCK -- University of Arkansas football games at War
Memorial Stadium in Little Rock have become the sort of rowdy
outdoor parties not seen in Fayetteville, where drinking alcohol is
prohibited on campus.

But now Little Rock city officials are worried that the revelry
that fills the surrounding park and golf course at War Memorial has
become too much to handle.

"If we don't get it under control, something terrible is going
to happen," Little Rock Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Day
said. "We're looking at changing the rules and setting some things
into place to get control of the situation."

When the Razorbacks hosted North Texas on Sept. 20, many fans
started lining up to get on the park grounds about 12 hours before
kickoff.

With about 20,000 fans tailgating beforehand, many of whom
didn't even plan to see the game, city workers and police got more
than they could handle.

A couch was set on fire, a motorist hit a police officer (he was
not injured) and some fans tipped portable toilets, if they weren't
charging a fee to others for their use.

So the city plans some new rules Nov. 6 when Arkansas hosts
South Carolina, Day said. The game is on a Thursday night.

The park will be open for parking only eight hours before
kickoff and restrictions on the size of tents will be imposed.
Privately rented portable toilets and gas-powered generators will
be prohibited.

Existing bans on kegs, bottles and open fires will be enforced.

"What we've done is, as a city, not enforced the alcohol
issue," Day said. "It's one of the primary reasons people
tailgate. We're going to leave it as status quo if people cooperate
with us. But there is some underaged drinking going on and we watch
for that."

Last week, the Arkansas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers
launched a campaign to urge people attending football games to have
a designated sober driver.

The group is using a dog, Dottie, a 6-pound Shih-Tzu, to remind
people to enlist a trusted friend to do the driving.