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Sports Mailbag: To the Editor: Unhappy with direction taken by BGSU on hockey PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Furnas   
Tuesday, 30 June 2009 08:34
I read with great amusement and much anger your article, "BGSU to gauge Ice Arena Support."
Hasn't BGSU already gotten a gauge on the support for the Ice Arena and the Falcon Hockey team?
Didn't the 8,000 emails that Dr. Cartwright received after the initial announcement hint at support?
What about the 9,800 people who joined the Save BG Hockey group on Facebook?
How about the angry phone calls to the University indicating many donations would be withheld unless the University changed its mind?
Did they miss all the kids hanging I Support Falcon Hockey signs in the arena and throughout town?  
If they are looking for financial support, I believe one simple sentence will take care of funding the program and arena. "The University AND the Athletic Dept. are completely committed to the Falcon Hockey program, the community and the Ice Arena and we expect the program to be one of the best in the country again." If the University releases this simple statement, the alumni, the community and the fans will step forward and HELP make the funding a reality. If, however, they can't commit to changing 25 years of neglect and lack of support for the arena and the program it won't happen.
Ultimately I think the University is hoping that the "latest" feasibility study comes back showing a lack of support. This would make it very easy for them to shut everything down. It would be interesting to find out exactly whom the firm of Bentz, Whaley and Flessner is calling on to base their findings.
I have been a part of many meetings regarding the future of the Ice Arena. I believe that Dr. Vivian's $10 million renovation plan is a solid one. I would like to see more done then what he is recommending, like a second sheet of ice, but I believe he has a grasp of what can be done in these economically challenging times.
The state has already given $1.5 million that needs to be used this year. Then there's the $4 million that the University promised for the renovation that didn't happen.  Remember that $4 million commitment?
That leaves $5.5 million dollars left to be raised to make the renovations a reality. The amount doesn't need to be raised all at once. The renovations could take place over a period of several years. The University needs to have the Alumni Association, not the Athletic Department, be responsible for helping raise the funds. Their highly successful Building Dreams campaign is proof positive that they know what they are doing. The money for the scholarship endowment program could be raised in much the same way along with help from the former Falcon players.
The Bowling Green community is very close to losing many things (Falcon Hockey, youth hockey, high school hockey, figure skating, curling, public skating) that it has embraced for over 40 years.
Show your "support" for the program and the arena and don't let an administration that won't be here to live with the ramifications of their actions take the easy way out.

Mike Furnas
President, BGYHA
 

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