Op-ed: Athletics needs stadium and ice rink

by Isaiah Martinez
edited by Luke Tracy

Franklin Pierce is an athletic community school with athletes taking up nearly 50 percent of the student population. Yearly, the school makes about $1 million in revenue just from athletics alone. But the university is not  investing in the sports facilities that the athletes need.

Most sports here at FPU do not have a locker room which has a negative impact on the teams leading up to a big game. Some may argue that the school is a small school with not many “empty spaces,” which is why our stadiums and field house are the way they are.

Without having locker rooms, teams playing in Sodexo field, such as soccer and lacrosse, have to walk to the field from the field house where they get ready. Opposing teams in football games stay in a tent which hardly FPU in a positive light.

Sophomore Nick wood, football center, said, “Our stadium has minimal seats, that results in copious amounts of people standing to watch games. It sucks when you expected to have a miniature stadium with a lot of bleachers and a better turf.”

Sophomore Tyler Zech, running back and SAAC ( Student-athlete advisory committee) representative,  said, “I know teams that don’t play in Sodexo such as track and Cross Country sometimes practices outside because there is no track here and not enough space in the bubble to get long distance running in.”

Aside from teams that play on campus, both our mens and women ice hockey teams  have to commute 15-20 minutes to their ice rink. Senior left wing Casey Diana said, ” Having to travel to our rink definitely makes game day a little bit more difficult because it throws a wrench in our daily schedule.” Diana continued in an the phone interview saying, “We have to be there a minimum of an hour and forty five minutes before game time, and because of the drive we have to leave about a half hour earlier than we would have to if the rink was on campus.”

According to Diana, the team has to carpool and drive themselves to home games, which takes the focus out of the team.

Having home games away from campus plays a vital part in  motivation and excitement of a home game. Diana said, “It feels like an away game sometimes, because we don’t have as much student support as the campus teams because of the drive.”

(Photo: Google)

Senior  basketball shooting guard Marvillo Berroa said, “ I wish the gym would be bigger like an actual arena. We’ve played at schools that their gym is beautiful and gives them the experience of playing college basketball. It will definitely draw in more money to the school and more fans to our games. Good way to raise the funding for the athletic community here at FPU.”

Junior football captain Jose Melo said, “Yes, I wish we had a bigger field to practice indoors or have the funds that other D2 schools have, or having the luxury to have a bigger stadium, or even having all sports on campus and getting the actual college experience we see big schools having.”

“At the end of the day, this doesn’t make or break us as an athletic family. We as athletes here know we have always have little to work with and got a lot to prove, but it builds character and that doesn’t define us,” said Melo.

With the school in debt, it’s hard to find a solution for this problem. However, the athletics community should reach out to alumni and potential boosters to start gathering the seed money for a larger campaign to build for new stadiums and an ice rink.




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