Where Is the Spirit?

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Where Is the Spirit?

It’s Friday night at Matthew’s Arena where the men’s hockey team is ready to take on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats and it seems as if nobody is here except for UNH fans. Where are the Northeastern fans? Instead of Northeastern’s black and red, the Wildcat’s blue is overtaking the arena.

Why is Northeastern so different from other universities who have thriving traditions and throngs of fans at every event? Is it because our sports teams are not as recognized? Or do the students here just have better things to do?

Many Northeastern University students feel that athletics are relatively unsupported here since attendance is low at almost all events. This is a Division I school with 19 varsity teams that compete in the America East Conference, with the exception of football in the Atlantic 10 Conference and men’s and women’s hockey competing in Hockey East.

With every win, Northeastern athletics are gaining recognition. The 2002-03 season was the best year overall for Northeastern athletics. Last year, Northeastern sent four teams to the NCAA playoffs and won a total of seven conference titles including football’s first ever Atlantic 10 title.

Several students, when asked about low attendance, suggested the low turnout for football games is because of the location of Parson’s Field in Brookline, MA a few miles away. Students have to take busses supplied by Northeastern to the field. “I think one [stadium] closer to campus definitely would attract more students to games,” said Maria Maldonado, a sophomore political science major. “Taking the busses to games is such a hassle. Plus, the stadium is like a high school stadium.”

One student said that she liked Boston University’s setup because fields were closer to campus making it easier to watch games.

“I think if it were closer it would help. The BU soccer field is right behind some dorms and I have noticed that a lot of people watch those games because it is easy to just stop by,” said Amanda Lowe, a sophomore journalism major.

The Huskies Homecoming football game was on October 18th at Parson’s Field. The field has a capacity of 7,000. At Homecoming, more than 6,000 were in attendance. It was a good turnout but when compared to another Division I school such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s football games, which are always filled to capacity at 80,000, Northeastern is just a small gathering.

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