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University athletics are “big business” in the United States, but this is not yet the case in Canadian higher education institutions where there are fewer institutional affiliations with media-promoting academic sports organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Unlike their American counterparts who rely heavily on revenue from the media rights for televised sports broadcasts and other licensing opportunities, Canadian universities leverage funding for athletics programs mainly through student fees (Lenskyj, 2004). While such revenues may permit a viable varsity athletic program at most Canadian institutions, student fees are rarely sufficient to support the construction of new facilities such as football stadiums. This photo essay explores one university’s deteriorating football stadium during a period of campus debate regarding its renovation or relocation, offering the opportunity to reflect upon the role of such facilities in the life of a Canadian university and the relationship between the academic use of lands and imagery appropriated from Indigenous peoples (Goldfarb, 2015; Udy, 2018).
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