Change BSA into an arena
As we write, architects are busy drawing up their proposals for the planned renovation of the Bison Sports Arena. Two words of advice: good luck. But the project is moving forward with bids due in June, so in the spirit of Art Vandelay (George Co...
As we write, architects are busy drawing up their proposals for the planned renovation of the Bison Sports Arena.
Two words of advice: good luck.
But the project is moving forward with bids due in June, so in the spirit of Art Vandelay (George Costanza's architectural name in "Seinfeld"), here are a few tips for the old white box:
- Move the weight room, which is located directly above the BSA offices.
Two weeks ago, a decent-sized piece of mortar for wall tile came crashing through the ceiling of head wrestling coach Bucky Maughan's office.
It brought laughs to everybody except OSHA.
- Take the wooden stands and make the biggest bonfire Fargo has ever seen.
Getting rid of those
back-busting bleachers will be top priority for turning the BSA into a place where fans can sit and enjoy watching a basketball game.
- Give the students a special touch.
These young minds fork over $903.72 per year for student fees, some of which go to Bison athletics. They deserve some perks for their donation, like prime-time seating.
Since they got put out to pasture for football seats at the Fargodome, keep the students front and center behind the opposing team's bench.
Give them some green seats and put a nickname to it like "Gang Green." So what if the term is borrowed from the old University of Oregon defense.
- Somehow, some way - and this is the tricky part - turn the place into an actual arena.
Currently, a more proper name would be the Bison
Phy-Ed Building. It's a square gym. New chair-back seats will have to be placed to give the basketball floor a closed-in feeling.
- Change the name. "Bison Sports Arena" has the appeal of playing a game in a church parking lot.
Unless naming rights can be secured, the name should reflect the agricultural school's history with something like "Bison Indoor Yards."
- Upgrade the concession stands. This comes from Richard McDonald, an NDSU graduate and project manager for DA Hogan and Associates in Seattle, a firm that has some stadium expertise.
"Cheap concession stands give the impression of a cheap facility," he said. "Make them look nice, have some quaint seating, have good coffee, better foods and then the spinning hot dog wheel and it will go a long way to making it feel like a top-notch facility."
Another McDonald bit of advice: add twice as many female restrooms as male
- Install a team room cam.
If the NDSU folks want to make good use of the new big screen video boards, put a camera in the halftime men's basketball team room and watch Tim Miles chew his squad to the bone.
- Put in new lighting. The current bulbs make the place feel like an eighth-grade shop class.
The price of the renovation is at least $8 million. The decisions in the next few months will affect the school for decades. It is a critical period that will take every Art Vandelay NDSU can find.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546 or firstname.lastname@example.org