It wasn’t the weekend sports fans were hoping for.
The Arkansas Travelers opened the season on Thursday with a six game home stand at Dickey-Stephens Park.
Then the Arkansas Razorbacks had the annual spring Red-White game at Little Rock’s War Memorial Sum.
Fans were expected to come in the tens of thousands.
That didn’t happen.
What did was snow, or at least traces of it, along with rain and unseasonably cold weather.
Temperature at kickoff of the scrimmage game was a crisp 35 degrees on a windy Saturday. The crowd, which some had hoped would top the 36,055 for the Florida A&M game last fall, was sparse.
Admission was free, so no official count was available, but it was announced in the press box that the estimated attendance was 7,000.
That is well under the 11,341 who saw North Little Rock win its first state championship last fall. Of course, it was also 63 degrees at kickoff that day in December.
Which meant, among other things, that the second quarter of that game didn’t have snowflakes falling from the heavens like the scrimmage, but the fans, dressed more for duck hunting stuck with it and didn’t flock to warmer climes.
Players with local connections in the scrimmage include: Jacksonville’s D’Vonn McClure and Kevin Richardson, back for a possible sixth season as a Razorback, along with Cabot’s Jarrod Barnes, North Little Rock’s Tobias Enlow and Tyler Phillips and Maumelle’s Tyler Hall.
All were dressed out for the game with Barnes and Enlow seeing significant action in the second half. The scrimmage itself was a ho-hum affair with White “winning” 27-25 against the Red team.
Points were scored as normal on offense but certain defensive plays were also awarded points ranging from 1 point for a sack, to 3 points for a fourth down stop. Defensive touchdowns were also worth 6 points.
Perversely, the sun came out after the scrimmage was over as players stayed on the field and visited with family and friends as well as signing autographs.
On the baseball front, weather rained out Friday’s game with the Travs along with cancelling the planned festivities with the Arkansas Razorbacks as an autograph session was planned, and first-year head coach Chad Morris was scheduled to throw out the opening pitch.
Which meant for a chilly doubleheader on Saturday night with San Antonio, while Corpus Christi was on the hook for three games starting on Sunday and the Travs then hit the road with a return to North Little Rock on Thursday, April 19 when the Springfield Cardinals come to town.
Razorback baseball fans will also get their chance to see the Hogs in action this Tuesday when Arkansas faces Grambling State at Dickey-Stephens Park.
That game will start at 6:30 p.m. And will be the second half of a doubleheader of sorts with the Travs facing Corpus Christi in a kids game at 11 a.m. that day.
It should be warmer at least. The forecast is calling for highs near 70 by Tuesday, and is expected to crack 80 on Thursday.
A temperature swing of nearly 50 degrees.
Welcome to Arkansas.