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An Arena too Far

By: John Bruyea

The Men’s hockey team is set to take on the UOIT Ridgebacks on Friday, October 26, and I would love to go and support my fellow Lancers but plaguing all Lancers is a constant issue: how to get there? The distance between campus and the arena prevents many of our student supporters from attending the varsity hockey games, leaving a sea of empty seats.

The Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex, more widely known by its former name, South Windsor Arena, is located approximately 6 kilometres away from campus. It’s hardly a vast distance but for most students it represents an overwhelming obstacle.

“Why don’t you just drive, it’s only, like, ten minutes?”

Well, the fact is that, like most students, I don’t have a car. Any other bright ideas?

“Okay, just take an Uber.”

I am a poor student! Do you think paying $15-20 each way — PLUS TIP, because Kevin the Uber driver earned it- fits my budget?  Try again.

“Take the bus! Every student gets a ‘free’ bus pass with their tuition.”

Windsor’s transit system isn’t the most efficient, to be polite. Riding the bus to the game will take roughly 40 minutes, each way. That time doesn’t even include the awful waiting period, braving the frigid weather. Thanks, but I’ll pass on using my pass.

You know what? You’re being difficult. Just walk. You’re young.

Sure, I’d love to take a nice stroll in the cold for an hour and 41 minutes (according to Google Maps). Problem solved!  Not really.

The above might sound like hyperbole but I think you see my point. Attending varsity events at this arena to support Lancer Hockey is not feasible for many students. In consequence, we never come close to filling the rink – you would be hard-pressed to see the building filled to its 500-person capacity for any of our team’s home games.

Ok, John, we get it, but what can be done? Are we doomed to never watch a Lancer hockey game ever?

False! I think there is a great opportunity here to have a fan bus take students from campus to support their teams.

There has to be a way to arrange either a bus rental or a direct route through Windsor transit to and from campus for Lancer games at the CPRC. Whether this movement constitutes a responsibility of student government, Lancer athletics, or a combination of the two, I feel it must be done.

In order to give both the men’s and women’s hockey teams the support they deserve, and provide students with the opportunity to enjoy a game of hockey, the university should be providing some form of consistent transportation to accommodate for this large demographic.

But, until something is done, 2555 Pulford Street won’t bring our hockey teams the home-ice advantage they deserve.

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