Upgrades and games, two hot topics

Will Arkansas State play a game in Little Rock's Memorial Stadium? It appears its not a matter of will, more of a matter of when. Go "Inside" this story as we dive into to two hot topics of discussions for ASU Athletics. The game in Little Rock is the first, the second is when will an announcement come in regards to athletic facility upgrades, appears to be sooner than later.

There are two hot topics surrounding the Arkansas State University Football Program.

They are about two subjects that has definitely has the AStateNation fan base discussing in length about.

The two questions are "When will there be an announcement about Football Facility Upgrades" and will the Red Wolves play in Little Rock in the near future.

Fans received a pretty good clue on the answer of the latter question when Gus Malzahn took his Head of State Tour to War Memorial Stadium before a packed crowd.

Malzahn didn't mince words about his fondness of the locale.

"I was talking to Charlie Staggs of (War Memorial Stadium) while driving up to the road, this is the best place in America for Arkansas High School coaches to coach. I'm a high school coach at heart. I will say this as a college coach the favorite place for me, I have been fortunate to play in several big games including the Georgia Dome and playing in the National Championship, Charlie I will say this is the best place in America to coach a football game. I appreciate you putting the Red Wolf out on the middle of the field, I have a question for you our fans, are you ok for us to play a game here in Little Rock. (Met by a thundering applause)."

Malzahn took things one further step, making it clear what he has planned for the future.

"Here is the vision I have, I have a vision of us playing a BCS opponent this placed being packed and us whipping their tails. It's going to happen."

While there has been a rumor that a possible announcement might come at War Memorial Stadium on Wednesday night, while that didn't happen it appears that is closer to happening than not. Arkansas State still has not released it's full schedule for 2013, could a game be played in Little Rock next season?

ASU System President Dr. Chuck Welch came on live with AStateNation Sports Radio on 103.9 The Game Thursday to give his thoughts about the chances of a future game at War Memorial.

"Well let me say first of all, we will always maintain our focus on our core and that's Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas, but we also have to look at building program throughout the state far beyond Northeast Arkansas." Dr. Welch said. "We are going to be strategic about it. Needs to be a BCS caliber team that will increase the interest and energy surrounding the game. Every one of the War Memorial commissioners came over to me and told me how much they want us here."

When asked if there could be a game in 2013 there?

"I don't know James, I don't get that involved in scheduling. I know that they are talking about it, I think you could expect an announcement. It's just a matter of putting the pieces together, Dr. Welch said. "If you asked Gus he would like to play the Oregon game there. I think it will happen, we just have to get the right opponent."

Dr. Welch also had some interesting comments when asked about the future plans for athletic facility upgrades.

"We are waiting on right now, going through the processes, feasibility, moving as quickly as we possibly can," Welch said. "We have been fund raising, pretty quick after tying all the pieces together. Hate to give a definite time frame, it will be sooner than later. Some announcement of some kind before the end of the summer. It's going well. Mulitiple fund raising meetings, there is buy end from every corner of the state. Get ready the announcements are coming, sooner than later."

When asked how much is going to be raised, he had this answer.

"We have all heard the numbers anywhere from 20 to 35 million dollar range," Welch said. "I feel it will be more towards the 20-25 million dollar range. That won't be cutting any corners either. Things are going well. It's a great time to be an Arkansas State Red Wolf."