It has been 20 years since Cal State Long Beach has had a football team — but in the next few years, that may change.
In a resolution approved earlier this month, student senators Alex Trimm and Isaac Da Silva proposed the idea to bring football back to the campus by emphasizing the benefits to the university. It has allowed them to create a committee that would explore the options to give the 49ers a return to the football field.
In 1991, the football team was dissolved due to state budget cuts and small efforts to bring it back have continued. During the 2011-2012 school year, a referendum to raise student fees $86 a semester in order to bring back the football team failed.
“If there’s people willing to [bring football to campus] but there’s other campuses [that offer football], I’d rather not have to pay more,” Rocio Ruiz, senior kinesiology major said.
According to Athletic Director Andy Fee, creating a football team would require a staggering amount of funding to cover scholarships, an operating budget, additional support staff salaries, facilities and football coaching staff salaries.
“Our goal is to direct the student funding allocated to Beach Athletics in the most efficient and meaningful way possible,” Fee said. “My goal is not sway students one way or the other, but simply provide a realistic picture of the challenges.”
If the campus does have to use students’ tuition money, Trimm said it would be a small fee that will give students the opportunity to have their say of how money is distributed throughout the football department.
“I just don’t see it [happening],” said President Jane Close Conoley in a past interview with the Daily 49er. “Football coaches are incredibly expensive, you have to have 50 or 60 people on a team and then you have to have a stadium. I’m putting air conditioning in our buildings before I build a stadium.”
Senators highlighted how football would create a thriving community between the university and the city, create jobs pertaining to management and staff during game days and help grow Associated Students Inc’s mission to increase social development for students. Trimm and Da Silva want to accomplish this by creating another community outside of school.
“It brings people together and gives people a sense of comradery that very few other things are capable of offering,” Da Silva said. “It’s something that is very tangible and present in schools. Giving that same opportunity at [Long Beach] with over 40,000 people, a school football team is gonna see that same kind of comradery and come together.”
According to the bill, the reintroduction of the 49ers football team is expected to enhance student’s campus experience and benefit various colleges and departments by adding more internships.
They would support the Department of Kinesiology by providing jobs from sports psychology, athletic training, strength and conditioning. The College of Business Administration would benefit through team marketing, sports management, ticket sales and others, such as the College of the Arts through various design, branding, and advertisement task.
“Football brings more opportunities,” said Elvia Medina, junior communications major who has been an avid sports lover since she was a child. “We’d have the opportunity to have more events, it’s another popular sport to add. We’d have the opportunity to have more events and it’s just fun.”
Trimm and Da Silva say this time around, funding will depend on a number of things. Their approach is to fundraise through donations, sponsorships and boosters that will encourage outside sources to support the campus.