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Standing room only for UNL students in new arena

At least one Lincolnite is concerned about the city’s plans for its future West Haymarket arena to have “standing platforms” in the student section, rather than seats.

Arena designs unveiled last week indicate the arena will have standing platforms five to seven rows deep, rather than seats. Jane Kinsey, a member of a new Lincoln government watchdog group, questioned the wisdom of making students stand up during entire games during the Thursday meeting of the Joint Public Agency overseeing the project. She said it’s not fair for students to have to stand.

(JPA member Jayne Snyder apparently didn’t see the Wednesday front-page story on this, “Isn’t that the football stadium?” she asked during the meeting. Nope. It’s your arena.)

Stan Meradith of DLR, the architect, said the Nebraska athletic department requested standing platforms, which are typical in arenas nationwide, he said.

“They want their students to stand,” he said. “We easily could put in seats and benches.”

UNL Regent Tim Clare said when the university, the city’s partner, says that’s what they want in the arena, the JPA should honor their request.

“We could put seats there (but) they’re not gonna use ’em, they’re gonna stand,” Clare said. “That’s the way it’s been, that’s the way it is around the country.”

In fact, Clare said Marc Boehm of the UNL Athletic Department was adamant that they want standing platforms on three sides of the court.

As an aside, I found it funny how in the LJS story cited above, the writer quickly pivoted from the students’ standing issue to whether season ticket-holders would have any trouble seeing over the standers.

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