UM-St. Louis students' opinions differ on the Arena implosion
by Sue Britt
Last month the implosion of the Arena, former home of the St. Louis Blues, left many UM-St. Louisans with only memories of the landmark held dear.
Diane Parker, a senior at UM-St. Louis majoring in Business Administration said she has fond memories of the concerts and special events she attended at the Arena. She also loved the architecture.
"One of my [favorite concerts] would . . . probably have to be the Funkadelics," Parker said. "That concert was there, with the mothership and all that. That was one of my favorite concerts. I'll always remember that."
Regarding the demolition of the Arena, Parker said she was upset about it and has not been able to even look toward the empty site when she passes it.
"I really wish that they could have let it stay and maybe have done something else with it, but if it's not financially feasible for them, you know, they don't care," Parker said. "The aesthetic beauty of it, that's what they missed."
Some students are angry. Senior George Meier blames St. Louis City mayor Clarence Harmon.
"Tearing down the Arena was a terrible decision. It's an old place and has a lot of history," Meier said. "Tearing it down for an office park is just not right and I think people should campaign against Harmon in the next election because of this decision."
Senior Edward Belter is neutral on the subject.
"It really doesn't matter one way or the other. The city has their agenda, and they're going to do what they want anyway," Belter said. "Plus the Arena has been dead ever since they took hockey away."
Belter said his favorite memories of the Arena were going to Blues games with his father.
"We used to be Blues season ticket holders, and my dad and I would go to a lot of games," Belter said. "I remember one time I was drinking a soda when the Blues scored and I got so excited that I spilled my soda all over the woman in the row below us. I am lucky that she was very understanding."
Others are not so concerned with the demolition and seem to not need the building to remain as a symbol of their memories of it. They take a more practical view of it. George Sotiropoulos, a senior majoring in political science, is one.
"[My best memory of the Arena] would be the very first Blues game I ever went to and I got to see Gary Unger and Bobby Gasoff play, some of the older Blues. I witnessed my first hockey fight. I remember coming home all charged up. Bobby Gashoff is the one that got into the fight that I saw, and I remember from that time on he was my favorite Blue," Sotiropoulos said.
"You know I'm not as upset about [the destruction of the Arena] as other people. My memories are still there, and I didn't need to have it standing as a reminder. I mean those are things that will always be inside of me."