Is it Safe?

HARVARD STADIUM

THANK GOODNESS The Game is in New Haven this year.

Not that we are eager to sacrifice the coveted home-field advantage to the hated (and currently undefeated) Elis, but many of us may feel a little more secure sitting on the bleachers at the Yale Bowl come November. Harvard Stadium, according to several University officials, has deteriorated so badly that it may collapse. In fact, Harvard's director of athletics, John P. Reardon Jr. '60, has said of last year's sold-out Yale game, "I was glad when it was over that everyone was safe."

We join Reardon in being "glad" about the survival of the 40,000-or-so folks who watched the game last November, but we must ask why anyone was allowed inside when there was even a chance that the Stadium might tumble down. Reardon inspires little confidence when he speaks of parts of the structure that "are so corroded that you can hit the steel beams with a hammer and it crumbles." If things have reached such a state, perhaps the 78-year-old stadium should be closed--at least temporarily--to make sure its occupants are safe.

Harvard Stadium is a grand old place and Harvard's announced intention merely to renovate it and not to tear it down is welcome indeed. The $7-$8 million plan seems both cost-effective and sensitive to the Stadium's unique place in American athletic history. But--charming though it may be--the Stadium seems dangerously decrepit, and Harvard should make sure it is safe and say so before any more spectators are allowed inside. That and beat Yale, or course.