April 25, 2002

Home of the Red: Examining Cornell's Athletic Facilities

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When you go out to Lynah and cheer, do you ever wonder what it will be like in a few years? Could the venerable rink use a change, or would “just a change” alter the things loved about Cornell hockey? Did you ever think that many of the teams’ facilities might be lacking, thus hurting the Red’s chances to succeed?

Most importantly, do our resources satisfy our athletes?

These are issues that most of the Cornell population never worries about. However, if you are one of the proud members of the Cornell athletic community, the facilities available to you are your lifeblood.

In other words, athletes’ perspectives on a facility is the most important perspective. And they tend to be universal — keep the traditions, while remaining competitive.

When asked about the Collyer Boathouse, which services all three crews, freshman heavyweight Tobin Ireland responded, “Because [our boathouse] has been around for a while, you do get a feeling of tradition, which a lot of people like.

“However, [certain aspects of the facility] could use a new beginning.”

The boathouse where Ireland and the rest of the rowers practice is scheduled to be replaced in the near future. This change comes at a time when the Cornell crew is gaining respect in the collegiate sphere. The squads hopes that the new facility provides it with some help in its upward climb.

“Our new coaches are changing [the team],” said Ireland. “This is really good timing for a fresh new boathouse. It will rival any Ivy League’s,” he beamed.

When a facility can be improved, and there is money available to do so, one would argue that upgrading is a good thing. Because this seems logical, many Cornellians often wonder about Lynah Rink, which has not been significantly altered, unlike many other schools’ hockey rinks due to its traditional aura. This situation evinces the tradeoff between tradition and practicality.

“Lynah has a traditional atmosphere that cannot be matched. Changing it would ruin the history [that the rink has],” said freshman goalie David LeNeveu.

“I would, however, not mind if they added more seating, such as where our lockers are now, so that all of Cornell and the surrounding community could enjoy the games,” he added.

Junior forward Sam Paolini admitted that improving Lynah may be economically sound, but agreed with LeNeveu’s statement.

“Obviously [Cornell] could bring in more revenue by expanding [Lynah], but that could take away from the history and atmosphere of the rink,” said Paolini.

However, he stated, “Lynah will have to either be redone or expanded to accommodate the fans and the University.

“I believe that the fans create the atmosphere at Lynah, and if they update [the rink], the atmosphere will continue to be the best.”

For crew, one sees a situation where facility improvement may very well aid the team that uses the facility. Yet, Lynah shows us that this is not always the case. In both cases, however, the athletes emphasized the need to maintain tradition while keeping up to speed with rival schools.

Archived article by Michael Pandolfini