I spoke with Marcus Manning, the director of athletes at Maryville University, and he told me how the decisions for the athletic facilities are broken down. Around the time of the field renovations, the idea of seating arrangements weren’t high on the priority list. “Game field and practice field” conditions were what Manning told me were the top priorities.
I also asked him about the idea of building a track around the soccer field and if that question ever arose. He told me building a track would be “pretty expensive” and there would be much consideration, such as “costs, linguistics and prioritizing.”
The operating budget for a team takes into account the size of a team, the equipment needed and the travel costs for away games. Adding a track would, of course, mean the school would need hurdles and starting blocks, as well as having to possibly change the soccer field to an all-turf field. Now it makes sense why we don’t have a track. We cannot have the improvements, until we meet the necessary goals to allow these improvements.
So what’s the excuse for the lack of fan support for current teams who have the necessary facilities to play? There isn’t one. There should always be a packed crowd at the home volleyball games, soccer games, softball and baseball games, wrestling matches, tennis matches, and of course, the basketball games.
Right now, Maryville is working on ideas for improvements throughout a number of athletic facilities. There are plans for expanding the Simon Athletic Center, adding a second gym, increasing the size of the weight room and adding locker-room space.
In order to raise money for better athletic facilities, we need more interest in the athletic department. The more success our teams have, the larger we can build our athletic departments and the better accommodations we can give back to our fans as a ‘thank you’ for the love and support they are giving.
So instead of staying in your dorm and studying or skipping a volleyball match to go see a movie, how about just gathering a bunch of your friends, new and old, and attending a home Maryville Saints sporting event. The hill might annoy you now, but come early and enjoy the bleachers; and maybe one day, when you are an alumni, you will enjoy better bleachers.
Because when the teams are succeeding then so is the school, and improvements to the school will help make your’s and everyone else’s time here that much more enjoyable. When you enrolled to become a Maryville Saint, you also enrolled into the Saints Nation family. We’re all a family and need to support one another.