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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Packing The House

The+Clark+Center+Rink+Lies+Dormant+For+The+Summer
The Clark Center Rink Lies Dormant For The Summer

 

 

 

Have you ever been to a Beacons game? If you answered no, then you’re in the majority on this campus. Attendance at games is a major issue for the Athletic Department, and they have been trying for many years to find new ways of drawing everyday students to games, with little success. Attempts have included offering free cookout fare at Beacon Tailgate Parties, and even offering “Late Night with the Beacons” last year at the kickoff of men’s basketball season. There have been free T shirts, free pizza, and many hundreds of flyers put up in the catwalk, but nothing has brought numbers comparable to other schools in D3. That got us thinking: what are some ways that UMass can draw more students to games?  Here’s what we came up with.

Build Better Facilities

This is something that has already been started by the Athletic Department. Last year, the hockey rink was spruced up and repainted to make a much nicer setting to catch a game. Just recently, construction began on a much larger project to replace the surface in the Clark Center gymnasium, as well as to add seating capacity and replace the bleachers. Those two projects, however, pale in comparison to the new baseball park that’s in the works. 

The park, which is being built in partnership with BC High, will not only be the first baseball park in UMass Boston history, but it will also be the first facility on campus to utilize synthetic turf. Before this park, which is scheduled to open by Spring 2013, the baseball team played home games half an hour away from campus. Bringing baseball to the peninsula would be a breath of fresh air, literally, and might really draw students in after classes on nice days.

Work on the Scheduling

This school is a commuter campus. That’s the number one reason that sports, and many other student events on campus, receive woeful attendance. That hurdle can be cleared, however, by tinkering with the scheduling a bit. Most home games on weekdays are at night, with the exception of softball. The only day-games on campus are on weekends. There just aren’t enough students on campus when games are played now, but if that were to change, games would be a very attractive draw between classes for sports-crazed Boston students.

Create More Outreach with the Main Student Body

Right now, the student athletes at UMass are like a separate population. In fact, if you go to a game on campus now, you’ll notice that the vast majority of those in attendance are other athletes. I’ve heard the population described by an athlete as “a separate small high school within a large university.” The fact that athletes usually take similar classes due to early registration, coupled with the tight-knit sense of community in the Clark Center, leads to the cliques that are rampant within the Athletic Department today. 

If more student athletes would reach out to the average students, who are usually crazy about sports, then attendance to games would shoot up.  I’ve come across many students who didn’t even know UMass had an athletic program, let alone know any athletes. 

 

Not all of these remedies are immediately possible.  But, with time, if they were implemented to complement the Beacons’ current winning streak, the Athletic Department could become one of our crown jewels here at UMass. When residence halls are (hopefully) put in, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.  Until then, try to check out a game: you have nothing to lose and you get to see some free sports.  What could be better?