Tuesday, June 14, 2011

II. Improve Conte Forum

This is the second part of our series on how to improve Boston College’s athletic department.  Check out Part I of the series here, but today I want to turn to the basketball and hockey programs.  Obviously the common link here is Conte Forum, a building which (if you watch the DVD documentary The Battle of Comm Ave) once was the pride of Boston College and is now in need of repair and renovation.

Let’s start with some of the things that BC has done well when it comes to Conte. First, the building is actually pretty underrated in that a lot of programs don’t have a building either that nice or that big.  Secondly, BC has done significant work on the building in the past several years.  The athletic department has rejuvenated the rink and court, whether it be through the addition of the wall of honor, or through the new lockers for the hockey team.  Despite these changes, however, the building still hasn’t lost that 1970s/1980s feel with the ugly yellowish gold, abundant cement, and crappy bleachers.  With that in mind, here are some ideas, some more realistic than others, for improvements.

  • New coat of paint.  If Conte isn’t getting a new coat of paint each year than someone isn’t doing their job, and, to be perfectly honest I don’t know the last time the place got a paint job.  I would also move to change the color scheme slightly from the current maroon and yellow to an actual maroon and gold.  I was tempted to suggest a maroon and white but then I realized...
  • Less is more.  I understand that BC is trying to cultivate a culture of sports at the school but we can’t pretend that the sports tradition at BC is on par with some top-tier schools.  Instead of having the wall of honor, I would rather we have a few exhibits in Conte dedicated to those individuals who are truly excelled both as people and as athletes.  As an avid BC sports fan, I can’t even tell you who the coach was who directed BC to their only football national championship.  Why doesn’t he have a statute and a display?  Ten life-sized statues and career displays of BC’s top men and women are significantly more valuable to the atmosphere than a few hundred names on the wall. If you don't believe me look at how much success the Flutie statue has had outside of Alumni.
  • Strip the Bleachers.  I don’t know what the cost of this would be but if this isn’t being discussed it needs to be.  More maroon seats could be added all the way to the top of the press box.  Maybe you could even intermingle gold seats to make a “BC” (you know, like the flowers on campus that spell BC).  In any case, it would remove an eyesore from the stadium and give fans something to lean against. 
  • Less Cement. I have no set solution to this problem, but I think that people generally agree that the cement look needs to go, especially when it comes to the areas near the V.I.P. boxes on the alumni end of the court/rink.  Does anyone have any ideas to what we could put here? Wood? Something? Anything? Even if we put a BC “wallpaper” up (I’m thinking of the adhesive pictures you can have specially made and cut to fit the wall; yes like a giant “fathead”) that would be an improvement. Maybe we could make one of a crowd of superfans to make it look like we actually have fans in the stands. 
  • Gold Days. Here’s a crazy idea. Get the e-mail addresses of your ticket holders (and don’t give me the argument that our older alumni don’t have e-mail…they do), e-mail them prior to the game, and urge them to wear gold superfan shirts.  Then back that up by providing a link to Superfan shirts which can be special ordered for any class year.  It seems like every other school has figured out how to get everyone to wear the same color at the same time, except BC, so let’s start to get on the same page here.