It has surprised the nation, but after over a century and a half of begging, heckling, strongly-worded letter campaigns, and showing up at games to push the cause, Case Western has been chosen to host the 427th Quidditch World Cup. The Cup, which has not been hosted in America since the advent of Quodpot in the eighteenth century, is expected to be an event attended by many—and pseudo-ironically criticized by most.
According to Jeanette Cranston, the current President of American Magic, CWRU’s high population of witches and wizards makes the university an ideal spot for what she deems “the necessity of bringing the World Cup into the twenty-first century.” In last week’s WWN-USA address, Cranston said that, given that the Apple franchise and high technology have eclipsed the wizarding world’s popularity, it’s well past time to host the World Cup in a progressive, urban location. “Case Western’s high-density technological bubble,” she claimed, “will give wizarding science the opportunity to perfect functional magic in an increasingly electronic world.”
Construction of a Quidditch arena, nicknamed the “Tinkham Veale University Center” for the benefit of Muggles, began this year, and administrative officials expect the building to be complete by mid-2014. (You didn’t really think those rusty girders could hold anything up without magic, did you?) Freiberger Field will house the arena itself, and the underground parking lot will be converted into housing and boarding for the athletes involved.
Tinkham Veale’s estate provides funding for the arena, estimated to cost approximately $2.4 billion before World Cup employee payments begin. The Veales, an illustrious American wizarding family, have resided in this country for over two hundred years and quietly funded the careers of young Cleveland wizards since the 1940s. Tinkham Veale himself was, in fact, responsible for the permanent Warming Charm installed on Mather Hall’s outdoor air vents, a blessing for cold students campus-wide.
In addition to the World Cup, CWRU will be holding a number of events before, during, and after the main attraction in Veale Stadium. While the exact number and identity of the activities has yet to be determined, UPB is determined to showcase CWRU’s appeal to players and fans alike. For example, several local martial arts groups plan to put on a Cleveland self-defense workshop designed to exhibit all the exciting dangers our campus has to offer. On the other end of the spectrum are CWRU Muggle and Magical Knitting’s plans to host a knitting bee, with the goal in mind of breaking the record for World’s Biggest Kitsch.
Of course, not everyone will be able to participate in the festivities, for obvious reasons. While Wizarding Officials will modify the usual enchantments for Muggle students to see what’s going on, friends and families of those same students will not be invited to attend. In a move deemed “highly controversial” by the chief editor of Witch Weekly, CWRU Wizarding administrators will require Muggle students attending the game to undergo a charm preventing news of the World Cup from reaching their families. Students who refuse to comply, or who don’t wish to attend, will be placed under a modified Obliviate spell until the World Cup ends.
CWRU president Barbara Snyder, when asked about the legitimacy and fairness of such a move, only said that the school “does not engage in discrimination.” She then trailed off into a mumble about “special circumstances.” Even though many hold that the prospect of World Cup-related revenue may have swayed President Snyder’s opinion, obviously no one would wish to suggest any hint of avarice on her part, if this revenue might one day lead to printers on campus that are actually reliable.
While the enchantments in question may still need to be examined, why the World Cup’s location wasn’t finalized until now is explained by CWRU’s previously difficult urban setting: housing and camp space for attending Quidditch fans is much more limited than in typical rural locales. However, agreements with the heads of nearly all academic departments have just come through for patrons to sleep on the floors of classrooms and clean hallways. Specialized Portkeys will prevent the attending fans from invading office and lab spaces. While space will still be at a high premium and available for a limited time, the normal few thousand campers will nevertheless be able to fit.
While most CWRU students and faculty look forward to the World Cup, many students are displeased with the Cup’s timing, no matter how well the logistics work out. Senior Actuarial Engineering major Carrie Tale provided a sadly accurate explanation when she said, “It’s not fair for us Muggle upperclassmen. Shit! I really wanted to go, and now I won’t even remember what’s going on, because it’s happening after I’ve graduated from being a Case student.”
The Athenian predicts a rash of sudden final-exam failures and delayed graduations as a result. Anyone who wishes to submit a petition to let anyone who’s suffered through SAGES watch the damned Quidditch Cup may contact us at the usual address.