Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeSportsHockeyOpinion: Sparse crowd for final skate at DMA

Opinion: Sparse crowd for final skate at DMA

Tigers face off. Photo by Martina Marien

It was an emotional evening last Saturday night at Dalhousie Memorial Arena.

As I sat in the top row I couldn’t help but have my heartstrings pulled while participating in the final ‘Let’s Go Tigers!’ chant for the men’s hockey team. Watching the final seconds wind down as Dal made a push for overtime was a hard thing to do.

As a student, like most of you reading, I never put much priority in varsity athletics compared to my studies. But that evening, sitting in the top row, it was disappointing looking down at a vastly empty crowd. I asked myself, ‘How could this be?’ A night of such history; the end of a legacy; how are there not more people here to witness this?

Again, Dal’s promotion of varsity athletics must come into question as this should have been a much advertised event. I am not here to rant about the promotions in residence or on campus; I’ll leave that to more qualified personnel. It was tough to stomach, though, watching the men’s team salute the crowd and head for the dressing room for the very last time with such a dismal showing of support. I raised my arms, cheered and clapped nonetheless, not just for the team’s stunning turnaround this season, which came just short of a playoff berth, but for the roof I was under. For the history that was brought to an end, the stories that will die with the building and the teams in years past that nearly brought a league banner to Dal. For the players who pulled on the Tigers sweater in the DMA throughout the years, I salute you.

Having a front row seat to the arena’s demolition makes this no easier, and it will be with great sadness that I look at the gaping hole left on campus come the fall semester.

Walking out the doors last Saturday evening I felt a twinge of regret. I, myself, only ever attended five hockey games at the arena. I felt ashamed I never saw any more, but then I realized that five was far more than most students on campus. Now that Memorial Arena will be gone come September, five is a lot more than almost the entire student body will ever see. The fact our fellow classmates step on the ice, pitch or court and get so little support from us, as students, is a depressing reality. Home games rarely feel like home games.

As a final plea, I urge the student body to start supporting our teams, start showing your true colours. Even though the last ‘Let’s Go Tigers!’ chant at Memorial Arena at a men’s game has come and gone, don’t let the opportunity to chant it for the women’s team at the AUS championships at the start of March or in other venues like Wickwire or the Dalplex pass you by.

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