Gees need to do better to attract the best
I cannot undermine the importance of facilities for sports teams. In the recruiting process, a possible recruit will always have his or her eyes glued to the rink, gym, field, pool, etc. Moreover, home field advantage is crucial because that is where you play the majority of your games, and you want to have the best conditions to give your best effort.
Let’s start off with Montpetit hall, opened in 1972. It is home to Gee-Gees volleyball, basketball and swim teams. When spectators come in for volleyball and basketball, they don’t have the feeling that they’re going to see a high level sporting event, rather it seems like they’re going to play intramural or go to the gym.
I hate to say this, but Montpetit really lacks what Carleton has at the Raven’s nest. That is a facility that is really made for hosting events, rather than just put together on game days like Montpetit. Carleton’s court is big with great general seating, lighting and press arrangements, all aspects that the Garnet and Grey lack.
When it comes to the pool, the first thing that comes to mind is old. The lack of colour in a concrete heavy setup is not a pleasant picture.
Matt Anthony field is home to Gee-Gees soccer and rugby. The field is made of Field Turf artificial surface, and with good lightning it proves to be a nice place to play. What Matt Anthony lacks is a real seating plan. Per the Gee-Gees website it can house 675 people, but needs to include standing room. The bleachers are old, uncomfortable and hard to get into with only one entrance per row of benches. I honestly think this contributes to the lack of student participation at soccer and rugby games, despite the latter team winning a U Sports gold medal.
Minto Sports complex is home to the Gee-Gees hockey teams. However, don’t be mistaken, this is merely a hockey rink that the Gee-Gees use and where their dressing rooms are located, it lacks anything that says it is the home rink of the Garnet and Grey. It is nothing more than a classic rink that you grow up playing minor hockey in.
The worst part about Minto is the seating, slabs of concrete with plastic pads for seating with no back rests makes it hard (and cold) to enjoy the product on the ice.
Gee-Gees field is where the football teams hits the gridiron. It is not poorly located, just a short walk or bus to Lees campus is not bad, but the background of the Queensway is loud and annoying. The dressing rooms are in the dated Lees building and patrons have to wait while the teams run onto the field as they make their way to the bleachers.
Not to mention the fact that Gee-Gees runners don’t have an on-campus track and need to travel 45 minutes by bus to the Louis Riel dome.
I’m not saying that the Gee-Gees need to play at Maple Leaf Gardens like Ryerson, or to have a football stadium like The Ohio State. However, despite Minto and Gee-Gees field being relatively new compared to Montpetit, it seems like the University lacks a real sports plan to be considered a good sports school.
A plan to redevelop Montpetit and another potential sports facility have been talked about by the university, but these projects lack a timeline for a school who is in desperate need of upgrades.