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Alumni Stadium Bubble Collapse Sends Varsity Programs Scrambling

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The collapse of the Alumni Stadium bubble indoor practice facility has sent varsity programs scrambling. Calls for a permanent indoor practice facility grow loud.

Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

The Alumni Stadium practice bubble was resuscitated on Friday afternoon, a week after collapsing under an accumulation of two feet of snow from last week's winter storm. However, the school has yet to determine whether the bubble will stay up for the rest of the winter sports season, according to The Heights.

A team of Boston College engineers and outside engineers must still meet with athletic department management to evaluate whether or not the newly repaired bubble, which sustained a tear near the 50-yard line, is safe to continue using. Jednak said in an email that the decision should be made sometime this week.

"We have to repair it just to take it down," [Director of Facilities Services Michael] Jednak said. "The membrane gets folded in a particular pattern, so it has to be lowered and folded slowly."

Even if the school decides to reopen the bubble, it may not be usable for a few more weeks. In addition to sustaining a large tear near the 50-yard line, the glass lighting fixtures inside the bubble were damaged. The glass shards will have to be cleaned out of the turf before it's safe to use.

Several varsity and intramural sports have had to make alternate arrangements for team practices and games following the bubble collapse. Baseball spent the week leading up to the season opener in North Carolina at the Plex as well as off-campus batting cages. Lacrosse practiced in Cohasset, a two hour drive one-way with traffic. Golf moved their practices to Sudbury, signing an agreement with Bosse Sports. Football has been practicing out of the Patriots' Gillette Stadium (NFL-caliber facilities though!).

The Heights Sports Editor Greg Joyce joined in calls for the school to build a permanent indoor practice facility; a development now long overdue. However, with the city holding up the construction of the new baseball / softball stadium on Brighton Campus, it's hard to imagine the school being able to get an indoor practice facility built in what would be the ultimate town-gown lightning rod issue.

Not in my backyard!