Commentary: Matthews Arena needs $25 million

In my three years at Northeastern I have basically sold my soul to the athletics department. I was sad to see that last week’s editorial (“Gym proposal needs ‘working out'”) didn’t get the point.

The proposed renovation of Matthews Arena is desperately needed, and the editorial missed key aspects of the renovation and the real reasons it is crucial for the future of Northeastern sports.

It isn’t only about more gym space for club sports. That part of the proposal is secondary. Northeastern is attempting to establish itself as a major sports program. This is difficult to do with our facilities, which are well below the standards of our competitors. While some of the additional space will be used for club sports, most of it will be going to coaches and varsity athletes. The arena is very much in need of upgrading. The lack of progress of our new football stadium has more to do with city politics than money, as the editorial suggested.

The arena needs new seats, a scoreboard, lighting in the lobby and repairs in the bathrooms.

You can’t recruit the high caliber athletes our competition is luring in without something to offer. Upgrading Matthews is crucial to recruiting future generations of talented athletes that can bring a winning tradition to Northeastern. This will bring fans, possibly breaking the catch-22 we currently find ourselves in: fans won’t support a losing team, and the team can’t win without new recruits and a dedicated fan base.

While Matthews is historic and amazing, it lacks the locker rooms, training rooms and amenities our competition is able to offer student-athletes. Until we have something to give them, we are going to lose out on recruits. The coaches need something to work with.

Athletics, more than the theatre department, club sports or student organizations, bring alumni back to campus. Those alumni become donors, as this school continues to grow and climb the ranks.

The recreation fee we pay each year is nothing compared to other schools, and it is being put toward the stadium that will host football games, not “track games.”

This was never a situation between the arena and the stadium. It was always both. Right now we have the ability to move ahead on Matthews. We don’t have the ability to move ahead with the stadium, although the administration is working hard on it.

Before you criticize the proposal, just acknowledge all the ways it will benefit the school. Better yet, instead of being critical, be part of the solution.

Come to a football, hockey or basketball game. Maybe even a track meet.

-Erika Carrubba is a middler journalism and English major, and a member of The News staff.

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