Staff Editorial, Week 9: The Matadome could use a facelift

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s men’s basketball team, who as of last week was ranked No. 1 in the nation, plays in a building as old as many of you and has a capacity to hold almost every CSUN undergraduate.

In contrast, the CSUN men’s volleyball team, who as of last week was also ranked No. 1 in the nation, plays in a building as old as many of your parents and has a capacity that couldn’t even hold your younger sibling’s high school senior class.

No one expects a little-known state school to seriously compete in athletics, or even spirit, with a major sports powerhouse like the Tar Heels. The hype and prestige that comes with being the top-ranked team across the nation can’t immediately move an administration to set out a plan to build a decent arena. Especially not while its focus is the construction of the Performing Arts Center. And especially not when it’s clear no one cares about CSUN athletics.

The problem with the neglect CSUN sports receives comes from factors on campus. The lack of promotion the Matadors get should come advertised in pamphlets on orientation day. To not have a respectable venue is one thing, but to not be able to even come close to filling 1,600 seats for the best collegiate men’s volleyball has to offer is depressing.

Even regulars at the Matadome, which isn’t even a dome, can’t blame students for having better things to do than walking into an old building where they’ll most likely have to find a way to pump themselves up. The Matadors are the best and that brings the fans in, but it’s not enough though. The legendary gym has to have something better to offer than its overpriced Matadogs.

There are seats on only two sides of the court. The lights are low enough for anyone to notice when a cell phone flashes from across the room. The handrails on the bleachers are a kick away from coming undone and you never know who the Matadors are playing unless you go outside Redwood Hall and take a look at a poster with the schedule on it. The scoreboard only reads: Matadors – Guest.

Those are just a few problems with the room itself, but what the gym lacks in architecture could be made up with personnel and creativity, or at least some thought.

It’s a shame CSUN can’t get itself a decent band. No disrespect to the three cats that sometimes show up to animate the crowd, but a larger number of members and maybe a strut around the sidelines would attract four or five more fans. That’s a start. Or how about some originality? Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock n’ Roll?’ Yeah, no one’s done that. Queen’s ‘We will rock you?’ Give us a break. ‘Zombie nation’ passes, but everything else CSUN students already heard since they were young.

Some in-game sounds aren’t a bad idea either. The University of Pacific’s Spanos Center has multiple recordings set for different plays, including a freaky tiger roar that’s assured to make you want to imitate. Those little things make crowds head home ‘- and back to class the next week – with something to talk about. It’s a chain effect. CSUN at least has to be original enough to copy this.

It’s not a matter of money, which obviously isn’t going towards cutout pictures of players’ heads stuck to the ends of sticks, like at UC Davis. It’s about effort. The Matador fight song was a good start, but CSUN must now get someone to play it live at the home games not just for the No. 1 men’s volleyball team, but for every squad that plays there.

The entire CSUN community should come out and’ show support for our teams. By increasing our presence at the games, it will help foster school spirit and motivate our players to continue being No. 1.