Urbana University officials recently announced that permanent lights will be installed at UU Stadium in time for the 2017-18 season.
The project, which will not affect tuition rates, comes shortly after the installation of renovated turf at the 11-year-old facility, as the university continues to enhance the student and community experience.
Construction began on July 3.
“We are thrilled to be adding lights to UU Stadium,” said Larry Cox, Executive Director of Athletics. “This demonstrates a continued investment in the growth of our athletic programs and will open up a myriad of opportunities, not only for our NCAA teams, but also for the entire campus and the local community.”
The new LED light system will consist of four, 70-foot poles placed behind the bleachers on the east and west ends of the stadium.
Once installed, the new LED system will maintain the university’s mission to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient, with projected energy savings of more than 75 percent compared to traditional lighting systems.
Also, new lighting expands the usage of the facility to host potential night games in soccer and football, while providing new opportunities for practices, intramural sports and community-related events.
While the university is excited for the impact lights will have on the player and fan experience, it is cognizant of its duty to be a responsible and respectable member of the surrounding community.
To this end, university representatives have worked closely with the City of Urbana during the planning process to ensure the new lights abide by zoning, nuisance, lighting and flight pattern regulations.
Furthermore, lights will be strategically positioned to lessen the impact of ambient light. University representatives will be providing information to nearby residents to announce the upcoming change to the stadium as well as provide information on upcoming events.
The Blue Knight women’s soccer team will host the first athletic event at the updated stadium on Thursday, Aug. 31, against the University of Indianapolis at 5 p.m.
Men’s soccer hosts Gannon (4 p.m.) on Wednesday, Sept. 6 and football opens up the home schedule against Fairmont State (1 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 9.