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Smart Talk

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Bottles only

If you attended the Arkansas-LSU game or other football game at War Memorial Stadium this fall, you may have noticed the concession stands didn’t use cups for soft drinks. All drinks, including water, were delivered in the plastic bottles.

Wayne Dyer, head of concessions at the stadium, said the reason was speed. Think of the wait just for the foam to subside before you’re handed your fountain Coke — and savings on the ice and cups. He said it was cheaper in the long run to buy bottles.

“Everybody won’t like it but everybody wouldn’t like it if we only had cups,” Dyer said. “It’s been a great situation for us. The process moves quicker, especially at the smaller events where we only have one or two concession lines.”

Some tipplers suspected the reason for the switch was to make it harder to mix surreptitious (and technically forbidden) cocktails. You can’t tip a dram from a pint bottle into a plastic drink bottle very easily. Not so, Dyer said. “That wasn’t really high on the list we considered,” Dyer said with a laugh. “If they were having trouble pouring it into the top of the bottle, they probably didn’t need any more at that point,” Dyer said.

Old-time rock ’n’ roll

The first big concert at Alltel Arena for 2007 appears to be Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band, coming Feb. 10. Seats are $65.

Rumor mill

Is something shaking at last on financier Warren Stephens’ plans for the property he’s assembled on Main Street? Last week, reporters all over town were scurrying after rumors that demolition bids had been sought for property on the west side of Main between Fourth and Capitol. The Stephens organization wouldn’t comment. The city had no knowledge of any such work.

A doubleheader

The 2007 Texas League baseball schedule has the Arkansas Travelers playing at home on Memorial Day weekend against the Springfield Cardinals, in their new Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. That means the Travs will go up against — or with — Riverfest, the three-day music and arts festival held on both sides of the Arkansas River.

When that was brought to the attention of Bill Valentine and his Travs office staff recently, they quickly set game times so that baseball and concert headliners wouldn’t conflict. Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m., Saturday’s game is at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s first pitch is at 5:30 p.m.

“The Friday time was the earliest we could play because the teams were both coming in that day from the road,” Valentine said. “On Saturday, we should be through at 5:30 p.m. and the big stage on the North Little Rock side doesn’t start until 6 or 7. A decent game and we’re out at 4:30 p.m., though I haven’t seen many decent games like that in a while. On Sunday, people can sit after the game and watch the fireworks.” They’ll close Riverfest about 9:30 p.m.

Valentine expects to get the stadium from the construction team April 1, a short window to prepare for the season opener April 12.

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