Nov 082006
 
Authors: NICK HUBEL The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Student seating in Moby Arena will again be split this year between the southeast corner and the western baseline, according to Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk and other CSU officials.

The original plan for student seating this season called for a unified student section along part of the southern sideline and southeast corner of the arena.

In April ASCSU approved a $17 per-semester raise in student fees, with that money going directly to the athletic department. The money, however, was only given with the contingency that the athletic department would meet certain conditions laid down by the student council, one of which was the sideline seating for students in Moby.

In September, ASCSU President Jason Green and Vice President Sadie Conrad met with Kowalczyk and decided instead to change the student seating, trading some of the sideline seats toward the middle of the court for the baseline seats in the western end where students sat last year.

Conrad said several factors went into the decision, but that she thinks the seating change will be positive for the atmosphere at Moby.

“There really is a benefit to having your fans on either side,” Conrad said. “For us, splitting O (the section along the southern sideline) just wasn’t feasible. We felt like if we were taking seats away from donors, that wasn’t going to help the culture of supporting athletics that we are trying to get going.”

Conrad went on to say that ASCSU was mainly concerned with getting some student seating on the court, which they achieved with section Q in the southeast corner.

“It just wouldn’t be good to mix (section O) with students who are kind of rowdy and people who may just want to sit down, relax, and enjoy the game,” Conrad said.

Kowalczyk said that he was also concerned with displacing donors from their seats, saying that it would lead to lost revenue for the program that might have to be made up by more student fees.

“I don’t know what the hang-up is on the sides, the baselines are great,” Kowalczyk said. “If the students come out in force then we are going to have a heck of a home environment, no matter where they sit.”

The athletic department has until April of 2008 to meet all of the requirements of the ASCSU legislation, but for now the issue of the student seating in Moby seems closed.

“I don’t buy the argument that if the students are on the side then they will come to the game, the support is either there or it is not,” Kowalczyk said. “I want students to try and be patient because I am going to work to create the best environment that I can.I want to give students an opportunity to have a successful team and a great experience at Moby.”

Check out the new seating at Moby tonight during the women’s basketball game against Metro State or tomorrow night’s men’s basketball game against CSU-Pueblo. Both games start at 7 p.m.

Sports staff writer Nick Hubel can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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