George Sisson

So our institution made a commitment to try to grow the enrollment annually on campus, which is one of our branch campuses. And we did some research on what is out there and what’s available, not only for what growth there is in the sport, but also we can attract students from this region. And so EA Sport was a hot topic or hot trigger. And so that was the area in which we thought that we could progress in, because what we’re finding out is that everybody is a gamer, whether you’re a football player, basketball player, soccer player, runner, it seems like everybody is a gamer. And we just felt like this game was the biggest opportunity to attract the young people in this region to come all in and have this opportunity.

I think our space is built with growth and development. It’s not built for today and then be out of date, you know, three months, six months or a year and a half from now. So obviously our square footage here, we built an arena, we built practice rules, we built a plug and play room. We have a viewing area. We have coaches’ offices. We’re not crammed into one little computer lab. We built this thing to grow and mature. And also, not only did we do it with the idea of having this for the campus and our students, but also at some point in time, open it up more for our community and our high schools and stuff like that. We’ve heard from many high school coaches that are running these sport clubs that are anxious about coming here and being able to play face to face instead of doing it over discord or online. So we built it with growth in mind. And so it’s our little field of dreams. Build it and they will come. So we’re hoping that that will transpire over the next year, year and a half.

So our E Sport program is going to be based out of the Olin campus and is all in County Cattaraugus County. A lot of our it’s a rule area in smaller schools. So what we’re trying to do is to try to create opportunities on campus for our young people to have a more college experience here, not just to come here and get a degree and get their credit hours and and move along. So we just felt like Eastport was one that transcended lots of sports because they’re all like I said before, if you’re a football player, you’re probably a gamer. If you’re a basketball player, you probably are a gamer. So it allows us to have a bigger umbrella for young people to catch their attention. So Cattaraugus County, the enchanted mountains of western New York, Allegheny Mountains, it’s a really. We enjoy all four seasons. And so I don’t know much more to say other than it’s a rural community with a lot of good people. And we’re just looking to foster a bigger experience for our young people to take advantage of here.