Though deserved, women’s stadium too extravagant

Unfortunately, it’s a tradition that greater numbers of hockey fans turn out for men’s games than women’s. As a result, men’s athletics usually grabs a bigger share of the funding. It has been a common custom in every level of sports: The high school football team goes on vacation every year and the girl’s basketball team holds a fund-raiser or two just to buy decent equipment. At the University now, the women’s hockey team often seems to end up with the short straw, despite their championship season. For this reason, demands for a new stadium to house women’s hockey might seem reasonable. However, the University is short on both money and space, and it would be best to consider more efficient solutions.
Already the University scrounges for funding and seeks out investments to complete numerous projects, and athletics has often demanded a greater than fair share of the wealth. It’s unfortunate women’s hockey doesn’t get an adequate share of the funding, but building another colossal stadium is not the best way to achieve equality. Mariucci Arena, as it stands, should be made gender equal. The stadium should not only serve as the playing field, but the home of both men’s and women’s athletics. There is a little crossover already. While at a recent men’s hockey game, the announcer interrupted with some praise for the women’s team and their victories this season. This sort of praise should be more common; it would give women’s athletics more prominence.
Fans of the proposal to build a women’s hockey stadium raise valid concerns, stating that Mariucci Arena is too large. Already however, space and money are rarities at the University. Economic concerns might seem petty in the battle for gender equality, but there are more efficient solutions than building another stadium. Another stadium would drain money and deprive the cramped campus of what little breathing room — and potential parking space — is left. Instead, more effort should be spent marketing women’s hockey. Luckily, more revenue has been allocated for advertising efforts and other sources. These strategies work for men’s athletics, and they can work for women’s hockey as well.
But promoting the women’s hockey team can be accomplished through more methods than business-savvy public relations. The media can help as well. News stories outlining the victories of women’s athletics can be given more prominence in the news. All media figures, from sports writers to general reporters, can focus more attention on women’s athletics.
Columnists have the powerful opportunity to write about what they want and express concepts that mean more than simple statistics. Indeed, columnists often have the duty of praising those things that have been unjustly neglected and of exposing truths that can only be discussed subjectively.
All of these methods will work toward furthering gender equality in athletics, which is the real issue. The women’s hockey team deserves praise, and furthermore, they deserve fans. While a new stadium may increase ticket sales, there are more efficient methods that the athletics department — and University — should employ.