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April 15, 2011


Standing room only for UNL students in new arena

by Deena Winter

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.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jane H Kinsey
    Apr 15 2011

    Thanks, Deena, for the coverage. But that is not the way I heard it. Tim Clare said the students stand at football and basketball at UNL now. I was totally shocked to hear that as no one has ever said that. Tim Clare was agitated when I challenged this
    arrangement and could hardly contain himself. It really appears that JPA does not want any questions even though they have to set time for public comment. I thought both the men were totally unconcerned about this potential treatment of students. The students are the backbone of the University and without them and taxpayers, there would be no University. But, because, they are low people on the totem pole, the powerful think they can do whatever they want to them. Having been an adult student at UNL and experiencing how many professors and the administration treat students, I can testify to this situation.
    This is total disregard for vulnerable young people.

    • ej
      Apr 19 2011

      Out … of … touch

  2. CS
    Apr 15 2011

    They already stand now, and the elders at UNL Football games get upset and write letters to the LJS and UNL to complain about it every year. I’m sure if A&M students can stand for the duration of 1 game that UNL students will be able to survive.

  3. Dave
    Apr 16 2011

    Typical for Lincoln. Spend Millions and preserve the status quo.

  4. roberta
    Apr 16 2011

    Why is the University calling all the shots? If they want to be incharge then let them build it. What else are they say is a must? Did they take out seats at Devanty—no.
    Hang on taxpayers more is coming especially with this 3 person puppet agency.

  5. Eric Bahm
    Apr 16 2011

    If you do not see the value in this design for all parties involved including the students then it has been a long time since you have attended college sports. Someone so out of touch with the subject should do some research before assuming the worse. All true fans would consider this as value added to the expperience. This is in no way a stunt to treat students poorly or save money. In fact I would be supprised if it cost more. Now if you want to find where the students are getting srewed argue that their sections are to small. That is one that rings some truth.

  6. fun
    Apr 16 2011

    What UNL wants UNL gets at the expense of tax payers in Lincoln. The whole State should help pay for it not just Lincoln and its residents and visitors. Let the kids stand its ok,but if your going to stand why not build a big open air Quonset it would be a lot cheaper and probably have more uses.

    • Publius
      Apr 18 2011

      Under the JPA (Joint Public Agency aka the Library Act – state legislature) they have the power to make the whole state pay for this arena through their taxing authority.

  7. Dan Bretta
    Apr 16 2011

    Much ado about nothing…sheesh… Eric is right, this is normal for new college arenas, and you won’t hear a single complaint from students.

  8. Daniel
    Apr 16 2011

    Maybe when Jane went to college 80 years ago, students sat at the game. Today they stand. As a former student (in the last decade) I think having the rows would actually be better than having seats in the way of my standing. If I want a seat I’ll buy a regular ticket. Also, coming from someone who spear headed a movement to stop the building of the arena, I don’t think any decision that will be made will satisfy Jane.

    For those who say UNL gets what they want. Well, what Lincoln basketball team is going to play on the court? Oh yeah, the Huskers.

    I get it that people think the arena was too much risk, too much money, and so on and so on, but the decision is made and its not going back. So now you have a choice. You can be an annoying arena hater, or you can accept it and move on.

  9. Roger C
    Apr 17 2011

    Once again Ms. Kinsey demonstrates why she couldn’t get elected. She so focused on things she is against that she’s unwilling to put any thought or research into the things she sees as ‘issues’. I’m sure Regent Clare was agitated; I get agitated also when people who obviously don’t know what they are talking about push me with stupid questions. Your 15 min of fame was up a long time ago, Jane.

  10. Jeff Poley
    Apr 18 2011

    Roger C:

    Roger, if you’re going to insult someone in a blog like this, at least have the courage to give us your name.


    • Roger C
      Apr 19 2011

      My intent was not to insult Ms. Kinsey, but to state what I believe to be facts. There was no personal attack in my comments. If you do not care for them, then nobody is forcing you to read them. Thank you for your reply.

  11. jnj
    Apr 18 2011

    I attended nearly every basketball game as a UNL student for four years. The only time you ever sit down is during halftime. This idea makes perfect sense. I don’t understand why this woman is making such a mountain out of a molehill. Seems like a small point to me…


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