Central Arkansas civic leaders and athletic organizations teamed up today to announce the first-ever "GameWeek in The Rock," a week-long celebration of football and baseball that begins Aug. 27.
The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau is sponsoring the program, which will be chaired by Rex Nelson, the alternate federal co-chairman of Delta Regional Authority who is a board member of both the Arkansas Travelers and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
The week includes the final eight Arkansas Travelers games, as well as the kick-off of the high school and college football seasons in the Little Rock area.
"This represents a great tribute to the Travs and Ray Winder Field where 74 years of baseball memories have been established," Nelson said in a press release. "It also provides a fitting manner to kick-off what has become an autumn ritual -- high school and college football."
A full run-down of the week's events -- which also feature a football class for women, taught by former Arkansas Razorback players Clint Stoerner, Oscar Malone and Anthony Lucas; a speech by former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer at the Little Rock Touchdown Club; a lunch lecture with Bill Valentine, David Bazzel and Bruce James; free movie screenings of “Rudy” and “Field of Dreams" -- is available after the jump.
Arkansas Travelers Say Goodbye to Ray Winder Field
During GameWeek, the Arkansas Travelers, AA minor league baseball team, will play their final games at Ray Winder Field, beginning with the Tulsa Drillers on Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. and Aug. 28 and 29 at 7:10 p.m. and concluding with a six-game home series against the Springfield Cardinals Aug. 30 through Sept. 3. On Aug. 28 through Sept. 1, the games begin at 7:10 p.m. On Sept. 2, the game begins at 1 p.m., and on Sept. 3 at 2 p.m.
Several promotions will be held at Ray Winder Field throughout GameWeek, including a book signing which will be held prior to the game on Saturday, Sept. 2. The signing will feature three Arkansans who have authored books about Arkansas baseball - Todd Traub, Jim Bailey and Terry Turner. The Travelers concession stand will sell the books, and fans will be invited to visit a table in the concourse for the book signing, which will begin at noon and continue through the end of the third inning.
Other promotions include “Think Pink” night on Aug. 28; “Frat Tuesday” on Aug. 29; “White Pants Wednesday” on Aug. 30 and “Clean Out the Closet Night” on Aug. 31. A fireworks celebration is scheduled to follow the Travelers final night game, scheduled for Sept. 1. Prior to the Sept. 2 game, Travs fans can have their picture taken with their favorite player as part of “Photo Day.”
The final game at Ray Winder Field will be held on Sept. 3. To commemorate the occasion, t-shirts will be given to the first 1,500 fans that enter the gates.
Arkansas High School and College Football Kicks Off
The 2006 central Arkansas high school football season will kick off at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29 as the Benton Panthers and Bryant Hornets square off in the “Salt Bowl,” held annually at War Memorial Stadium. They will be the first teams to play on War Memorial’s new artificial turf. The high school football frenzy continues the next day, Wednesday, Aug. 30 as the Little Rock Catholic Rockets meet the Sylvan Hills Bears in at War Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.
The inaugural college football game in Arkansas is also a GameWeek feature. The Henderson State Reddies and the University of Central Arkansas Bears face off in the “Capital City Classic” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31 at War Memorial Stadium.
Other Sports Events Scheduled
A number of other sports-related events will take place during GameWeek in the Rock. Radio station KABZ-FM “The Buzz” will host Football 101, a football class for women, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29 at Rumba Revolution, located in the River Market District.
For $25, participants will learn the fundamentals of football from local sports celebrities. Class teachers include former Arkansas Razorback players Clint Stoerner, Oscar Malone and Anthony Lucas; NFL Referee Walt Coleman; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sports Editor Wally Hall and 103.7 The Buzz hosts Justin Acri, Tommy Smith and Randy Rainwater.
The Little Rock Touchdown Club will host Barry Switzer, former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys head coach, at the season's first meeting. The meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock, located at 11301 Financial Centre Parkway.
From noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, the Central Arkansas Library will host a lunch lecture about Arkansas baseball and football, presented by three Arkansans who know their sports – Bill Valentine, General Manager of the Arkansas Travelers, and former Razorbacks David Bazzel and Bruce James. Each will speak about his sports experiences. The lecture will be held in the Darragh Center Auditorium in the main library, and attendees are asked to bring a brown bag lunch; drinks will be provided by the Library. Currently, the Library has over 70 sports films and books available for checkout.
At the Market Street Cinema, two sports movies will be shown free to the public. “Rudy,” a movie that showcases football, will be shown on Sunday, Aug. 27, and “Field of Dreams,” a movie about baseball, will be shown on Sunday, Sept. 3. Both movies will begin at 7 p.m.
Other Little Rock attractions are getting in on the sports action. At the Little Rock Zoo, for each paid adult, one child may get in for free throughout GameWeek.
For more information, visit www.GameWeekinTheRock.com or call the LRCVB at 501.376.4781. The site features a complete list of activities for GameWeek in The Rock, along with information about the teams competing, special promotions and more.