With plans to build a new multi-purpose facility adjacent to Liberty Bank Stadium that would benefit all sports, and a football program now enjoying unprecedented success, Ford realizes that timing is of the essence. "We've made a lot of progress in the past year or so, but we realize that we still have a long way to go," Ford said this afternoon on the AstAteNation Radio program.
An ambitious vision for the multi-purpose facility recently resulted in tweaks to the project that call for loge seating and other similar outdoor amenities, but also upped the price tag slightly to approximately $27 million. To help collect the necessary dollars needed, the Foundation's Executive Director says the organization is reaching out to all corners of the state.
"It's an intense strategy and we have a lot of work to do across the state," Ford said. "We have great support in northeast Arkansas, but we need even more people here to buy-in to what we're doing. And we need the rest of the state to do so as well."
Toward that end, Ford says the Red Wolves Foundation is now attempting to form county chapters, or "packs", across Arkansas. He also stated that the time has arrived where ASU is now reaching out to the more rank and file fans for financial help instead of just the potential big money donors. "We want everyone to feel like they can take ownership in this project."
The subject of gameday experience for the 2013 season also came up on today's show, as Ford was responsible for many positive changes implemented in last year's home games that particularly got the student body much more involved. He hinted that more changes could be on the way for this year.
"We want our gameday experience to be second to none," Ford said, adding, "We want to have the best gameday experience in the country."
He also said that this year's Order of the Pack ceremony on August 29 at Liberty Bank Stadium will be open to the public, and will be held in conjunction with the Big Great A-stAte Tailgate, which will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. in Tailgate City.
Ford said Paragould will join Jonesboro in participating in this year's Paint The Town Red Campaign, which begins on August 27, four days prior to ASU's season opener against UAPB
And, season ticket sales for the 2013 football campaign remain brisk. "Ticket sales are going great, we're ahead of last year...but there are still plenty of good seats available," he said.
Randy Myers is the co-host of AstAteNation Radio. The program airs Monday-Friday from 11-1 on The Ticket 970am/95.3fm and on the web at 953theticket.com.