This year marks the 75th anniversary of War Memorial Stadium.
“For 75 years, War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock has been an important part of the city with a rich history in the city’s cultural and athletic heritage,” said John Latch, assistant stadium manager at War Memorial Stadium.
“War Memorial Stadium was dedicated as a tribute to Arkansans who had given their lives in the service of their country during the two great World Wars. Over time, it has evolved into an active tribute to all Arkansans who have served and paid the ultimate price for their country. Military personnel have been honored over the years through programs, tributes and monuments.”
Latch said the Sturgis Plaza opened in 2008 on the northwest side of the stadium as a place of remembrance and reflection.
Along with being a war memorial, the site has been a popular venue for University of Arkansas football games. “The stadium’s first event in 1948 was a Razorback football game and War Memorial Stadium has since hosted more than 200 Razorback football games,” said Latch. “The stadium’s tailgating atmosphere is one of the best in college sports, expanding west to the former War Memorial Golf Course. The stadium still holds one game every year, including the monumental game scheduled in 2025, where the University of Arkansas Razorbacks will play the Arkansas State Red Wolves for the first time in the schools’ histories.”
War Memorial Stadium still has strong athletic ties. Arkansas Activities Association high school football championship games, as well as popular high school football matches including the Salt Bowl, are part of the annual lineup. The Little Rock Rangers, which are part of the National Premier Soccer League, also play soccer games at the stadium. Over the years, concert performances have included The Rolling Stones, Elton John, George Strait and Guns N’ Roses.
In 2017, the stadium was made a part of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.
“With the help of ADPHT and the War Memorial Commission, the stadium has undergone major structure and technological renovations, allowing it to become a sought-after venue for sporting events, business meetings, receptions and charity events,” said Latch.
The stadium has a seating capacity of over 54,000. When it was first built in the late 1940s, the capacity was a little over 31,000. The stadium has undergone renovations and expansions since that time.
“War Memorial Stadium can be booked for most every event imaginable,” said Latch. “The stadium is equipped to handle event types from small parties to large scale sporting and entertainment events. War Memorial Stadium is fully equipped for birthday parties, corporate events, trade shows, concerts, teleconferences and club meetings.”
War Memorial Stadium is located at 1 Stadium Drive in Little Rock. For more details visit wmstadium.com.
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit www.arkansas.com.
Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism
The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism protects and promotes our state’s natural, cultural and historic assets, contributing to a thriving economy and high quality of life. It is made up of three divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Mike Mills serves as the cabinet secretary for the department.