Bridges Gym received an early Christmas present on December 19th, 2017. The gym’s wooden bleachers were replaced with brand new electronically powered bleachers. The official unveiling was January 5th, 2018, when the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams hosted Thomas College.
“I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the new bleachers,” said Lou Izzi, NEC Director of Athletics, “you wouldn’t think bleachers would create such a reaction, but the response has been unbelievably positive from our athletes, faculty & staff, alumni, game spectators, and even our opponents have raved about how the bleachers make Bridges Gym look so much better.”
Izzi stated that the decision to go with red for the primary color of the bleachers was to compliment the already existing red elements of the gym. He also mentioned how the bright tone of the red “makes a small space seem not as confined.”
The new bleachers are one of many recent additions made to the NEC Athletic facilities as of late. The field house, located to the left of Brides gym, is also receiving some TLC.
“I believe the reaction has been quite positive. Many people have been pleading with me since I arrived at NEC in 2015 to upgrade the field house,” said Izzi, “we will be installing boards, similar to what you see in a hockey rink, so that the field house will look more like an indoor soccer facility. The boards will contain Plexiglas on top so that any spectators standing on the perimeter will be able to view the action on the field. There will also be player benches, similar to what you see in the hockey rink as well as an electronic scoreboard. And, we will have permanent soccer goals installed at both ends.”
The old AstroTurf has been removed and is being replaced by a material related to the turf on the Don Melander Field. Izzi stated that the two batting cages will stay inside the field house and will be stored in the designated “6′ [to] 11′ of space around the perimeter of the playing surface for storage and spectators.”