Some of the pictures have some unnatural distortion as I have blended photos
for the wide panoramic effect.
Santa Barbara City College
This photo is facing
south toward the harbor. There is no other stadium I have ever seen that offers
this kind of picturesque view right from the stadium seats. They were wise to
build onto the hillside for the stands, rather than to build artificial stands
on the opposite side. But into this environmentally friendly town marched a
new athletic director with no regard for the beauty and history of this facility.
His apparent motive, to destroy the track program in order to get it out of
the way of his favorite football and soccer. The result is a fake grass infield.
Yes in this photo it looks beautiful, but go down there and its a mass of plastic
and rubber particles that reeks of petrolium. And with the construction came
compromises that have rendered this stadium incapable of hosting the quality
championship meets it has in the past. At the head of the chute, now is the
pole vault pit--because the Pole Vault runway was removed they now have to use
the sprint straight as a runway. How do you run other events on the track when
the vaulters are in the way? And if you've ever been to a major track meet,
you know the pole vault can be the most time consuming single event of the meet.
At that end of the track inside the curve are the two shot put rings, and next
to that is an ugly seam between the natural turf and artificial stuff. They
have yet to replace the shotput landing area (will they ever?) and since the
field location has moved, some of that area no longer exists. Missing completely
is the ring for long throws that was next to this group. There is apparently
no space left for it. No long throws, no championship meets can come here. Behind
the far soccer goal is the javelin runway. But they have banned javelins from
landing on their valuable artificial turf. Again no javelin, no championship
meets. On the opposite end, behind the scoreboard, you can see where they placed
the "new" Long and Triple Jump runways (currently surrounded by dirt
(maybe they will plant grass seed later). What you don't see is that was the
staging area for major track meets, where the tents, porta potties and medical
help were located on field level. Removing that area make the necessities of
a major meet much more inconvenient. Again hidden from immediate view is the
steepness of the stands. If you run up and down those stands a few times in
the course of a meet, you are exhausted. I do ten times up the stairs as a workout
and it wipes me out for two days or more. What that means is if you put necessary
facilities on the only other available flat ground, it will be at the top of
those stairs, imparing athletic performances at the least and public safety
in the extreem.
I was involved with a group, Club West, that tried to prevent this from happening.
We failed--couldn't get any politicians to lift a finger. And since the plans
were (fraudulently) catagorized as maintenence, no public hearings were held
to even let us plead our case. In the process of that, I posted an editorial
which documented the history of this lone Athletic Director's history of dissention
Editorial. He remained long enough to force the retirement of the
track coach, who has long been a supporter of the sport. What more damage can
be done? Who knows. We finally got the A.D. out of power, but way too late.