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Some Rec Centers Close on Football Game Days

Columbia, MO — The success of the Missouri Tigers, ranked in the top five in the latest college football polls, has resulted in a change for the University of Missouri Student Recreation Complex and its patrons. The complex is now closing during home football games, beginning at kickoff, and will remain closed the entire day.

Laura Salerno, assistant director of membership and events for the complex, tells the Columbia Missourian that the university based the decision on two years of data showing that the complex was not often used during home football games.

“The benefits associated with maintaining the facility did not justify the expense,” Salerno tells the newspaper.

The closure of the complex on game days also cancels some cycling and yoga classes that are not included in the mandatory student recreation fee. Students enrolled in more than six credit hours pay $133.11 per semester in recreation fees, according to the Missourian, compared to $129.74 per semester last spring.

The student recreation centers at some of the other top football schools in the nation handle their times differently on home football game days. The University of Georgia and Louisiana State University close their rec centers on game days. The University of Alabama closes its rec center only if the kickoff time is either 11:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. If it's a night game, Alabama's rec center is open until three hours before kickoff. The University of Southern California also closes its rec center three hours before kickoff.

Other schools, such as The Ohio State University, the University of Texas and Penn State University, maintain normal hours for their student rec centers on home football game days.

“We recognize that everyone doesn't go to the football game on a Saturday and are very much interested in maintaining their normal workout routine,” says J. Michael Dunn, the director of the department of recreation sports at Ohio State.

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