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UA to Renovate the JAR

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29 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

Unlike the name changes of the Gund and the Jake, I'd gladly welcome this name change.

 

While there's tradition in the JAR nickname, I doubt many will be disappointed if they change the name.

 

Deals for arena naming rights usually don't bother me if done well and kept around for a long time. Like the Miami Dolphins Hard Rock Stadium changing names 7 times or the Viviant Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.

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30 minutes ago, akzipper said:

While there's tradition in the JAR nickname, I doubt many will be disappointed if they change the name.

 

Flashback Story:

 

Many of you will be too young to remember this, but I was at Akron when James A. Rhodes Arena was named.  I think there was even some protest/picketing.  Why?  It seems that the Kent loyalists still had issues in the early 80's with the former Governor Rhodes for sending the National Guard to Kent in 1970.   I bet it still makes the older Kent fans mad when they have to come here and see his name pasted on the front of the arena.

 

And for that reason, I say we continue to keep the name on there !! :)

 

Edited by skip-zip
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34 minutes ago, skip-zip said:

 

Flashback Story:

 

Many of you will be too young to remember this, but I was at Akron when James A. Rhodes Arena was named.  I think there was even some protest/picketing.  Why?  It seems that the Kent loyalists still had issues in the early 80's with the former Governor Rhodes for sending the National Guard to Kent in 1970.   I bet it still makes the older Kent fans mad when they have to come here and see his name pasted on the front of the arena.

 

And for that reason, I say we continue to keep the name on there !! :)

 

 

That's actually why I feel it should be changed. Sports are suppose to be an escape from everyday life. Friends and family attending games, some of which may be Akron alumni, shouldn't have to be reminded of the loved ones they lost that tragic day when attending a game.

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33 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

 

That's actually why I feel it should be changed. Sports are suppose to be an escape from everyday life. Friends and family attending games, some of which may be Akron alumni, shouldn't have to be reminded of the loved ones they lost that tragic day when attending a game.

 

I agree. I hate Kent State as much as anyone. But when something like that happens to a school, we should do everything we can to distance ourselves from it.

Edited by akzipper
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13 minutes ago, K92 said:

Jim Rhodes did nothing wrong.

I agree, he had no other option but to send in the national guard. That being said things escalated and got out of hand. Like @akzipper said I feel its just best to distance ourselves from the situation.

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9 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

I agree, he had no other option but to send in the national guard. That being said things escalated and got out of hand. Like @akzipper said I feel its just best to distance ourselves from the situation.

 

I guess you feel the way you feel.  But the Arena's been called that for 35 years.  And it was a salute to the man who was instrumental in getting us the funding to build it.  

 

1 hour ago, kreed5120 said:

That's actually why I feel it should be changed. Sports are suppose to be an escape from everyday life. Friends and family attending games, some of which may be Akron alumni, shouldn't have to be reminded of the loved ones they lost that tragic day when attending a game.

 

Tragic in a lot of ways, especially for the 2 innocent students who were killed.  But the man who was forced to call in reinforcements to restore law and order when Kent's commercial district was being destroyed, buildings were being burned, and the campus could barely operate is not the reason to blame him for the eventual fallout.  

 

Ironically, it seems to mirror the mentality of some of the young folks we have today.  Destroying property and disrupting order to show your displeasure with the government's policies can have consequences.  

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6 minutes ago, skip-zip said:

 

I guess you feel the way you feel.  But the Arena's been called that for 35 years.  And it was a salute to the man who was instrumental in getting us the funding to build it.  

 

 

Tragic in a lot of ways, especially for the 2 innocent students who were killed.  But the man who was forced to call in reinforcements to restore law and order when Kent's commercial district was being destroyed, buildings were being burned, and the campus could barely operate is not the reason to blame him for the eventual fallout.  

 

Ironically, it seems to mirror the mentality of some of the young folks we have today.  Destroying property and disrupting order to show your displeasure with the government's policies can have consequences.  

 

I don't blame him. I just see no value in keeping it named after someone who was connected to those events, especially if we can get corporate dollars in the process.

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What do you think would have happened if J.A.R. hadn't sent in the National Guard to protect State property?  (Not just at Kent)

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1 hour ago, skip-zip said:

 

I guess you feel the way you feel.  But the Arena's been called that for 35 years.  And it was a salute to the man who was instrumental in getting us the funding to build it.  

 

Here comes the "It's Tradition" argument.

 

Let's for a second replace "James A. Rhodes" with "Donald J. Trump" or "Barack H. Obama".   Each of these people carry baggage with them.  People will see whatever they want to see, when attributing that arena with those people.  Yes, we humans are infinitely complex and shouldn't be boiled down to one particular thing in our lives.  But people do it regardless of us all knowing that we shouldn't do it. 

The question is; should a discussion about the complexity of humanity and particular events in our lives be a focal point of a sports venue...

Also this is coming from a young person; hearing the "The JAR" when I was on campus, kinda made it sound like a dump.  Not going to lie.  And then attending games in that dump...didn't create any lasting positive impressions of the Zips program.  So personally nothing against James A. Rhodes, but perhaps a rebranding is in order.

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My guess is that if you surveyed all the people coming to any Zips game that about 50% wouldn't know who James A. Rhodes was.  I wasn't around when it was built or named for him, and I never actually knew why it was named after him until someone who has a deep connection to U of Akron explained it to me.  I always thought it was odd that there wasn't a statue or something commemorating Rhodes and the history behind his name on the arena.  Maybe it's somewhere in the JAR, but I never noticed it.  And frankly, our program's history in the JAR isn't all that great.  I mean there have been few memorable games.  Usually, we had easy wins against easy teams or head-scratching MAC losses.  The Ball State game last year was probably the most exciting game in years.   We did have those "amazing" home winning streaks.  But as we all know now that was all smoke and mirrors as well since really we only had to play at top level for a couple of home games each season.   So a remodel and a re-naming is ok with me. 

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This is an interesting topic. As said previously you have to go back many years to understand the naming of the JAR. Rhodes deserves very little credit for it. He only agreed to support it when he learned his name may go on the arena. Previously the university was under much pressure to name it after former Zip star athlete, coach and AD Kenneth "Red" Cochrane. Rhodes saw himself as a great builder and he wanted his name on as many projects as possible because he thought that would cement his legacy for decades to come in the state of Ohio. Remember the JAR was originally to seat 10,000. It's budgeting was cut twice as seats decreased. The only way it got thru the state legislature was because the architect, who was horrible, added three classrooms, at the direction of UA, so the building could then claim an educational mission. To uninformed legislators on the state capital budget committee that sounded easier to swallow than a new gym.

 

The whole project was a lesson in incompetence on UA's part. A few years later both Cleveland State and Wright State got their arenas funded by the legislature. Both seat near 13,000. Both are strictly for sports and campus activities. Both got neat $30,000,000 each. We got less than $10,000,000 originally with a second funding of a few million. Akron could have, and should have, done better.

 

Rhodes was a dynamic governor, but one who made poor decisions at times. His worst decision was to send in untrained, scared national guard troops to Kent State under an incompetent leader, General Del Corso. The results were tragic as we all know. Personally, I'd change the name in a heartbeat.

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13 hours ago, Balsy said:

Here comes the "It's Tradition" argument.

 

Not at all.  I said "it's been 35 years" to illustrate how odd it sounds to hear some people suddenly deciding that NOW is the right time to remove ourselves from the Rhodes/Kent connection after 3.5 Decades.  

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9 hours ago, NWAkron said:

And frankly, our program's history in the JAR isn't all that great.  I mean there have been few memorable games.  Usually, we had easy wins against easy teams or head-scratching MAC losses.  The Ball State game last year was probably the most exciting game in years.   We did have those "amazing" home winning streaks.  But as we all know now that was all smoke and mirrors as well since really we only had to play at top level for a couple of home games each season.   So a remodel and a re-naming is ok with me. 

 

This is a really strange post.  

 

It's a horrible thing.  I know.  It sucks that our program got so much better than the rest of the MAC over the last 12 or so years that it didn't take 100% of our resources to beat many of those teams anymore.  Maybe we should have bypassed some of the recruits we brought in here during that time to make sure some of those game were closer, and would have been more "memorable".

 

I'm sure Golden State Warrior fans are equally upset by the lack of "exciting games" during their dominant season last year too ?

 

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55 minutes ago, skip-zip said:

 

Not at all.  I said "it's been 35 years" to illustrate how odd it sounds to hear some people suddenly deciding that NOW is the right time to remove ourselves from the Rhodes/Kent connection after 3.5 Decades.  

 

I see what you're saying.  IMHO, the name should only be changed if there is a drastic rehaul of the JAR...or if someone says "hey I'll give the University $$$$$$ for naming rights...*cough* LeBron James *cough" or something of that nature.  Stadiums change names all the time, why not the JAR.

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The REAL tragedy of naming the facility the Jame A. Rhodes arena was that the U had to work some superfluous areas of the arena into a set footprint for the building, to "honor" Rhodes, and that extra space/extra expenditure reduced what should have been a better arena into a mediocre one, right from the start.  Less seats, the indoor track, the use of bleachers upstairs....all because we needed more square footage for a lounge, offices, and lots of lobby that could have been placed elsewhere and alllowed a bettwe seating bowl, up and down.

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I'm mentioning a name change now because it's something that is actually being talked about, at least on here. It's pretty typical for a facility to be renamed as part of a massive renovation.

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46 minutes ago, ZipsVoice said:

The REAL tragedy of naming the facility the Jame A. Rhodes arena was that the U had to work some superfluous areas of the arena into a set footprint for the building, to "honor" Rhodes, and that extra space/extra expenditure reduced what should have been a better arena into a mediocre one, right from the start.  Less seats, the indoor track, the use of bleachers upstairs....all because we needed more square footage for a lounge, offices, and lots of lobby that could have been placed elsewhere and alllowed a bettwe seating bowl, up and down.

 

I seem to remember a few things that might clear up some of the misconceptions about the actual construction.

 

1) The seating capacity wasn't reduced to do things to "honor Rhodes".  I believe it was all a matter of certain funds being made available to us if we incorporated more "educational features" into the design.  

 

2) I do recall some information that said that we rushed to start the project with what we had, and would have had more money if we were more patient.   Does anyone remember something about an additional funding source actually being approved after construction was already underway?

 

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Wasn't the money split up somehow to make a local representative happy .. and hence the existence of Ocasek Natatorium?

 

After the scoreboard, the renovation I'm most interested in is some new banners in the rafters with the words "Sweet 16" included.  The rest is just good money after bad, IMHO.

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Ric never got the credit he deserved for building the Natatorium.

Ric-Ocasek.jpg

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2 hours ago, kreed5120 said:

I'm mentioning a name change now because it's something that is actually being talked about, at least on here. It's pretty typical for a facility to be renamed as part of a massive renovation.

 

That's exactly it. Most arenas and stadiums use the naming rights as a way to bring in more money to use for a renovation budget. Not that it would make a huge difference, but every bit helps. UA got $10mil from InfoCision and $5mil from Summa. Not to mention club level sponsors. If we could get just a portion of that for naming the arena, it would make a huge difference. 

 

A lot of the newer college venues have corporate sponsors. They usually use the court naming as a way to honor important individuals. So we could still have James A Rhodes Court at FirstEnergy Arena or something. I just don't think that he had that big of a tie to UA to make it worth it. 

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27 minutes ago, K92 said:

Ric never got the credit he deserved for building the Natatorium.

 

But an ugly dude like that sure gets kudos from me for landing Paulina Porizkova during the prime of her modeling career.  

 

As Ric would say, "Let the Good Times Roll"

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