Paying for football

The new $5 entrance fee for Laurier football games, including the Homecoming game, has left a sour taste in many students’ mouths after returning from summer with little pocket change and increased costs at every turn.

It is not so much that $5 to support a sports team is out of the ordinary; Laurier was the last university to begin charging for football games – something many Laurier students prided themselves on – but rather it seems like there is no end to the addition of extra financial add-ons to get the university experience.

It is understandable to use the popularity of the football team to generate money for Laurier Athletics, which will then support underfunded teams and infrastructure, but how will the general culture and diversity of Homecoming and Laurier football be affected?

Arguably, the die-hard football fans and alumni will make the trek across Albert St. and hand over the required cash. However, some students, including first-years, may not find it worthwhile to spend the extra money to experience the pride and joy of the Golden Hawks and will no doubt miss out on a fundamental part of being at Laurier.

Furthermore, unlike many other schools that have large populations and get a high volume of supporters even though they have to pay, it is still unknown if Laurier can handle the loss of casual viewers who take advantage of the free activity during home games.

The commitment of students to their teams, especially its football team, which started this season ranked second in Ontario, should not be dependent on a few dollars.

Although this new charge is not unreasonable, it is unfortunate that a part of Laurier culture, free football games, will be lost. Hopefully, when the school is in a more financially secure position it will revive this piece of Golden Hawk tradition.

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