Key To UB Hockey Is New Arena
The article below first appeared in the November 16, 1962 issue of the UB Spectrum.
By Jim Baker
Many UB students in recent years have often posed the question: “Why doesn’t UB have a hockey team?”
Here we are, “enrolled” in a school that is situated in the middle of a hockey bed, right across the border of a country that lists the ice sport as its national pastime. Here we are, located in a city that draws between 5,000 and 10,000 fans nearly every time the AHL Bisons play at home. And here we are, in the same Empire State as other colleges which are much smaller than UB in every aspect, but which boast some of the top hockey clubs in the country. RPI and Clarkson are just two examples of this fact.
Thus, there is certainly a solid basis for all this wonderment about the absence of a UB hockey team.
Of course, the answer to this query is really twofold. First, the UB athletic department would reply, there has been no concerted interest expressed in the actual formation of an ice team. Secondly, where would the team play if it were formed?
The first part of this argument is already being eliminated. Last week, under the guidance of Tower’s head resident, Mr. Balland, the formation of a university hockey team was announced. Membership is still being sought to round out the club, but a firm nucleus is already there. Last week’s Spectrum listed the names of 14 players, and more have been added since that time. It is therefore apparent that the interest is present in eager and abundant quantities.
Naturally, these players realize that it will take a few years before UB can mold a team that would be able to participate successfully on an intercollegiate basis. But they are more than willing to work and work hard.
With this thought in mind, Mr. Balland, who will coach the team, is completing arrangements for this club to play in one of Buffalo’s highly competitive hockey leagues. This is where they will start, but the goal is definitely the establishment of an intercollegiate team and schedule in a few years time.
Yet, the second part of the athletic department’s argument still remains – where will they play? For the present, the team will play in Memorial Auditorium, Nichols’ rink, and over at Ft. Erie Arena with the rest of Buffalo’s amateur teams. But when the time comes for the intercollegiate team to take the ice, where will they play then? This is the key remaining obstacle.
It has long been this writer’s opinion that UB officials should emerge from the academic fog that has encompassed them in recent years and take a good long look at Clark Memorial Bandbox. The relic that masquerades as a gymnasium is nothing but a throwback to the depression era, and its usefulness has long since evaporated.
The time to replace this monstrosity is now! Here’s where our future hockey Bulls as well as our basketball team can gain a home of which all UB fans would be proud.
UB is now the only WNY institution of higher learning that does not possess or have plans for a decent fieldhouse; and yet Buffalo is far and away the largest WNY school of all. Thus, the realization of intercollegiate hockey at this university rests solely on the university fathers. The interest in the ice sport is now clearly evident, but the place to play it is still non-existent. With Memorial Auditorium’s schedule virtually drained of attractive dates, the only answer is a new UB fieldhouse that will put this university on a par with other institutions its size in the housing of a growing indoor athletic program.
— UB Spectrum, November 16, 1962