Woohoo! If you haven’t heard, and I’m guessing by how few at Concordia actually care about sports, you haven’t. Concordia University’s athletics complex is planning to undergo a $40 million expansion which means that the Complex will be a lot harder to ignore by the Concordia faithful who want to go to Sports events in the city.
Among the proposed changes are the addition of permanent bleachers to the football/soccer/rugby field right off of Sherbrooke St. and the addition of an inflatable dome for another field so that it can be used in the winter.
Other changes include the installation of a swimming pool, an indoor track, and another fitness centre to match the one that is currently in the EV building downtown.
Almost exactly a year ago, in this column, I noted that all other teams in the Quebec conference have new or upgraded sports facilities such as the Pine Ave facilities at McGill, UQAM’s huge facilities downtown and of course CEPSUM, the University of Montreal’s facility that is much bigger inside than it looks from the outside. In Quebec City, Laval’s facilities can, like McGill’s, host several national championships for the CIS.
With the proposed changes, Concordia’s facilities should be able to grow to host CIS championships and perhaps we will even see the addition of new sports teams to the university. A bigger base for Concordia Athletics would allow for volleyball teams and if a pool gets installed, a facility to train a swim team as well.
The biggest potential upside to this expansion would be the sense of ownership of the new facility to both the community and to Concordia. This would be Concordia’s facility. It wouldn’t be Loyola’s. You see it with the new buildings downtown. There is a renewed sense of pride from Concordia students who see the EV building or the SP building and say ‘This is Concordia.’
By re-doing the sports facilities, the university is taking a new direction. They are saying that we care about athletics, that we care about recruiting future great student athletes and they finally acknowledge that sports are a point of entry for aspiring students. It gets the name out there, and these additions will allow for nothing but good things for the university. I’m actually quite jealous that this announcement was made mere months before my graduation.
UQAM-Concordia a growing rivalry
It was a true sight to see. The comically small Concordia Gym filled by a large group of UQAM fans sitting behind their bench and the rest of the gym filled by a larger, but quieter, group of Concordia fans. The two groups of fans fed off of each other. The UQAM fans had thundersticks and mouth instruments with massive sound and the Concordia fans had thundersticks to offset the visitors.
Add that battle to a tremendous men’s basketball semi-final and what you have is a brewing rivalry between two different Montreal universities that has nothing to do with medicine.
It was the third straight year that the men’s basketball team at Concordia hosted the Citadins in the playoffs.
UQAM upset the Stingers three years ago but Concordia has rebounded the last two years and have defeated the Citadins at home.
The two teams perform on the court, and some of the players acknowledge the rivalry. If these two teams continue to battle for position in the Quebec conference, the rivalry will continue to grow.
Bob Gainey looks like a genius
After last week’s Trade Deadline, fans were calling for Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey to retire, not just his No. 23, which was retired earlier in the week. However, after trading Cristobal Huet and failing to acquire an “impact player”, the Canadiens have jumped to top spot in the Eastern Conference as they embark on a West Coast swing this week.
Don’t look now, but a prosperous Spring looks likely for this bunch in the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. The lines will be long come time for Canadiens fans to pick up some playoff tickets. The jury remains out whether fans will still want to ring Gainey’s neck for trading Huet come April.
However, how can you blame him for the trade when looking at Carey Price’s last three games since the trade?