Allow me to counter the Jan. 3 editorial “Arena of questions.” You wrote: “Yet that (UA’s) growing footprint also fuels the more compelling case for a downtown location, across from Canal Park.”
The University of Akron’s growing footprint does not involve destroying the look and sense of a true campus. A downtown location for a university arena would do just that. And a re-purposed, obsolete, off-campus department store (Polsky) and hotel (Quaker Square) can hardly be compared to a brand new state-of-the-art campus arena.
At best, those two downtown facilities are viewed as annexes to the real university campus. The university cannot afford to cancer itself by inflicting that same image onto a crucial sub-venue such as a new university arena.
Regarding the point about the local and regional economy and that “a vibrant city core helps to attract students and other talent,” the actual UA campus has been serving the local and regional economy in a crucial way and has been and continues to be the actual vibrant city core for over 140 years. You have it backward. The campus is the primary magnet attracting students and the primary reason that explains the existence of University Park Alliance and private student housing located near the campus. Downtown Akron is the recipient of those assets more so than the provider.
You said: “Locate the arena downtown, and the Zips would practically play on campus.” Try advocating such nonsense in Columbus and see how funny you would look in a tar and feather suit. Locate the arena on campus, and the Zips would actually play on-campus. “Practically” is not an option. Excellence is. “Practically” is a nicety for mediocre.
As with the new football stadium, UA needs to build the arena right the first time. Doing so makes all the difference in the world when attracting athletes and students to the institution.
The editorial said “the larger benefit would come from the ripple effect, the facility meshing with other attractions there, strengthening the essential connection between the city and the university.”
Downtown is already benefiting from the campus being adjacent to it. In fact, when one considers the numerous times the Beacon Journal and other sources refer to UA as actually being “in downtown,” it makes the so-called debate about a downtown arena suspicious if not facetious.
The Beacon Journal seems to take pleasure in confusing healthy cooperation between downtown and campus with unhealthy enmeshment, a disservice to a sense of campus identity and pride. Your editorial exploits it in a conspicuous and cheap attempt to hijack one of our region’s greatest resources, the University of Akron.
Ripping off the university’s thunder for the sake of politics and greed gives the entire community a bogus quality.
David T. Culp
Casual treatment of concussions
Thank you for the Jan. 8 commentary by Frank Bruni on the Kansas City Chiefs playoff game (“Pro football, thrilling and devastating”). I was mortified at how causal the announcers took the concussions that were occurring with the Chiefs. It was almost as if the incidents didn’t occur. I found it so hard to understand the lack of concern over these injuries, especially in light of the recent NFL concern and protocol for concussions.
I am an ER physician of over 20 years, so concussions are a very serious injury to me. The column said what I was saying. The media need to read this commentary.
I am a rabid Chiefs fan and was very disappointed in that heartbreaking loss. I truly feel the loss could be attributed to those injuries, and nobody seemed to bring that fact to light. But I must say my outrage at the causal attention to the injuries surpassed that disappointment.
Brenda S. Prince, D.O.
Warm or cold?
Temperatures across half the nation recently dropped faster than President Obama’s popularity. I was wondering: Could someone contact Al Gore and ask him if a polar vortex is in any way connected to global warming?