esports-arena-construction-2

Illinois State University's Board of Trustees approved a $5.95 million Esports arena to be built in the Bowling and Billiards Center. The space will include 72 new PCs and 18 gaming consoles for student and academic use. Pictured is a design concept for the new space.

Illinois State University has seen many changes over the years. One recent change is the addition of the Redbird’s Esports team.

This might seem like a progressive step of the school’s usual focus of funding only physical sports teams, but a closer look proves otherwise.

As a school that prides itself on funding athletic teams, many other programs within the university have been wondering where the lack of funding has come from.

In 2019, ISU committed to creating a varsity Esports team and in doing so became the first public university in the state to have a varsity level team.

On Nov. 20, the Bowling and Billiards Center closed for the year to start construction on the Esports arena.

Due to the increasing popularity, there was an ISU Board of Trustees meeting where the Esports team was awarded $5.9 million for this arena. This arena would allow the team to have an official place to play and practice for competitions.

The school is trying to expand its funding in areas that are not just physical sports, but in doing so, it is ignoring other programs within the school that have been here longer.

The school is once again going with the popular funding option, which can make it more money in return.

The school is looking away from programs within the school that could use more funding and, in return, these programs are feeling underappreciated.

The university should take a second look at these underfunded programs and put its energy into supporting them.

By supporting these underfunded programs, the school would take the first step into building stronger relationships with their students and student’s interests.

Schools can grow and expand their relationships with students by expressing interest in the students' activities.

This can easily be done by finding extra funding for clubs or programs that usually are overlooked and even providing resources to collect funding.

LAUREN KLICKNER in Art Director for The Vidette. Klickner can be contacted at lrklick@ilstu.edu. Follow Klickner on Twitter at @LKlickner  


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