UConn Club Volleyball Fans Out of Luck as Rec Center Bans Spectators at Games | Athletic Business

UConn Club Volleyball Fans Out of Luck as Rec Center Bans Spectators at Games

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The University of Connecticut has banned all fans from men's club volleyball games being held at the school's rec center. 

The reason for the ban has to do with how the rec center was designed. 

“The building was not designed to accommodate spectators, and their presence in the activity spaces would create potential operational safety issues,” Cynthia Costanzo, executive director of the UConn Rec Center, told The Daily Campus. “Our mission is to promote human connection and enrich the well-being of our community through physical activity. As we are committed to the spirit of our motto ‘Where the Student Body Develops we utilize our activity spaces to provide maximal opportunities for participant engagement.” 

At least one parent, who spoke under condition of anonymity, didn't find the Costanzo's explanation satisfactory. 

“We’ve gone to many different rec centers around the state … We’ve also gone to rec centers in Rhode Island, Roger Williams, we’ve gone to University of New Hampshire, and every time we go to these rec centers, there’s no issue,” the parent said. “You can walk right in and watch your son or daughter play.” 

Constanzo said not all rec centers are alike, nor are their priorities the same. 

“Spectator seating consumes square footage that is not used daily and is therefore, not efficient, and was not a priority of this project. We strategically planned to maximize space for our participants rather than create a designated area for spectator seating that would not be used by our students to engage in healthy physical activity,” Costanzo said. “Each school is unique and makes informed choices to best meet the needs of their community.” 

The parent said that they didn't need space or seating, saying they just wanted to watch the game. 

“We bring our own chairs, like lounge chairs, and we sit on them. We don’t need stands, we don’t need hot dog vendors, you know what I mean?” they said. “We’re very off to the side.” 

Constanzo also addressed this point. 

“In addition to the seating brought in by spectators being a significant safety issue as noted above, this seating is typically intended for outdoor venues, including grass field spaces.  It is not intended to be used on indoor flooring,” Costanzo said. “The seating will ruin the flooring.” 

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