First Four at UD Arena. First, look for the flag

$72 Million dollar renovation.
New seats, new floor, new scoreboards, new sound system, but, wait, where do we put the flag?

Normally, it’s hanging in a prominent position, in wide view, and well lit.

It has a place of honor. It’s respected. And it’s where we turn when the National Anthem plays.

But, we’re UD, home of the Flyers and a town built on the back of Wright Patterson Air Force base, and we don’t need to do any of that.

We’ll have a color guard march out to center court- and display the flag that way, and that’s fine. But, on the rare occasion when there is no color guard- where is the flag?

UD Arena hides our flag in the dark, instead of in plain sight. Photo and options by David Esrati

UD Arena hides our flag in the dark, instead of in plain sight. Photo and options by David Esrati

Well, if you peer behind each of the giant stats boards in the corners- there is a very large flag, one in each corner, hung on the wall, in the shadows.

You can hardly see them through the uber patriotic digital light show they play on the monitors- with stripes waving, as the National Anthem is belted out live from in front of the scorers table.

All this is well and fine. But, in the year of national turmoil where standing or kneeling was headline material, you’d think UD would make an effort to properly display the flag. Just one. Well lit, in a place of prominence.

I brought the issue up to rookie president Dr. Eric Spina- his response- As the Arena is finished in the next two years, the flag issue will be addressed directly and in a positive way. Until then, compromises are being made while still being respectful.”

I brought the issue up to the guy in charge of the renovation, Scott DeBolt, his response: “We will evaluate the placement of the american flag next summer when once we identify the locations of the new sports lighting.”

I’m sorry, but, as a veteran, as a UD Season Ticket holder, as a member of the Dayton community, as we invite people from across the nation to our arena for the first four, I don’t think these answers are satisfactory.

If you want to place a value on the importance of flying our flag- I suggest you ask these guys:

Flag Raising on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal

Flag Raising on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal

 

Is the Dayton Daily News folding? Editor caught in questionable position!

Such a nice holiday present for the Dayton Gems professional hockey team from the worthless parasites at the Dayton Daily News, Front page “Are the Dayton Gems folding? B 1” and the headline, top of page on sports section “Gems owner fears IHL takeover.”

Considering the paper couldn’t get a story in the Thanksgiving day paper about the game that ended at 9:45 on Wednesday- it’s amazing they can get this “blockbuster” story in today’s post Turkey day paper with their limited staff.

Yep- it’s filed by “David DiCenzo” a “contributing writer”- and it wasn’t available online until- oh, around 9:30 am.

The whole article refutes the claim from the league. What rookie owner Richard Bruner feels he brings to the table by sharing an e-mail that suggests that the league may take action is questionable, unless he’s looking for an excuse to scare investors off- and have a way to blame the Dayton Daily News if the rumors turn out to be true.

Sports marketing isn’t easy, especially on a shoestring budget. Many owners make the mistake of looking at UD Basketball or the Dayton Dragons and believe that they, too, can fill a house with fans. What they miss out is that both organizations have deep pockets. top-notch professional management, and unique customized facilities.

UD Arena was built for basketball. With it’s saddle-roof design that brings the roof down low over the court- it makes for a noisy building- with all the attention focused on the game. It’s the only facility I’ve been in that actually prevents people on one side in the nosebleed seats from seeing those sitting in pauperdom across the court from them.

The Dragons field is as near best-in-class as they come. Even the concessions are top-notch (even though staffed by “volunteers” instead of tax-paying employees). They effectively forced UD to up its game in decor and food service.

The Dayton Daily News apparently now also is home to the gurus of sports marketing- because they had the nerve to suggest that WSU drop their Division 1 men’s basketball ticket price to $5 today. Considering that Men’s basketball funds the rest of the athletic department, a move like this would destroy the program. Even with sellouts every game, the $50K raised wouldn’t be enough to field a team. Plus, when your ticket price is that low, attending has no real meaning- “Honey, it’s snowing, we’ll skip the game- it’s only $20.” It’s a lesson that the Gems need to learn as well- with $5 tickets, free parking and $1 beer, the house was still more empty than full on Wednesday night.

Let’s get back to the Dayton Daily News folding- the headline of this article- yep, they fold the paper every day- otherwise it would be too big and flat to fit in their newspaper boxes. As to the editor being caught in a questionable position- we’ll see where this Gems story ends up.

But, I have a suggestion for the paper- since readership is dropping so much, maybe they start giving away the paper every day and see if they can make it up on volume…. sounds like a great business strategy, don’t you think?