by Max Brantley
Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, said the state spends $849,500 managing the Little Rock football stadium.Where to begin? The state might find a stadium sale difficult. It sits amid a city of Little Rock park (the state land is limited to that beneath the stadium itself, not parking lots) and past efforts to convert that park property to commercial use caused firestorms. The state built the stadium and governs it through an appointed commission, with other money coming from sponsorships and revenue from the now dwindling number of games played there by the Arkansas Razorbacks.
"This is not a joke. It's time to cut this item from the budget and sell the War Memorial Stadium. Then, Pulaski County can collect the property taxes that the Little Rock School District needs so desperately," Hester said.
Hester also said Arkansas expended $5.4 million for AETN last year and slashed support for local libraries by 18 percent.
"This is not a wise trade-off, especially at a time when the free market offers such an ample array of choices in telecommunication," Hester said.