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The Campus Lantern

Future of under the lights games looks dim

Photo by @julialehmanphoto on Instagram
Photo by @julialehmanphoto on Instagram

On October 27 and 28, SCH sports teams clashed with various opponents in back-to-back night games, dubbed “Under The Lights.” It was the first time a night game had occurred at SCH since 2019. To make these night games possible, school administrators rented eleven, thirty-foot mobile floodlights that circumnavigated Landreth Field. Despite the overwhelmingly positive public reception, the future of the event seems uncertain.

One of the challenges with organizing an event like Under the Lights is obtaining the mobile light fixtures in the first place. “After COVID, it’s been harder,” said Dave Wilson, director of athletics.

“We planned to get our lights from a place in Conshohocken, but they canceled on us.” The cost to rent the lights was $5,200 for two nights. “For the next few days, we had to scramble to find other companies who were willing to rent us lights.”

“It’s just a lot of moving pieces,” Mr. Wilson said. 

Benjamin West, director of facilities for SCH, agreed. “We had to tow each massive light onto the field and set it up individually. We then did that eleven times.”

In addition to the complicated set-up of the floodlights, almost all of the lights used during SCH’s night games were powered with diesel. “They are extremely noisy,” said Mr. West “They spew out smoke and exhaust next to the players. So, not the most pleasant thing to be standing next to.” 

The hassle of obtaining the lights leaves some students wondering why SCH doesn’t search for a more permanent solution. When asked, Mr. West explained that there was an agreement with the neighbors that prevented the installation of lights at the stadium. “One issue is that the angle of the [permanent] light would be beaming in other people’s houses across the street.” 

Mr. West also mentioned that he had safety concerns with holding sporting events in the dark. Mr. West laughed, “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on at night. I can’t blame the neighbors for being cautious.” 

When Thomas Halloran, a neighbor who lives directly across from SCH, was asked about the noise produced by the night games, he said it didn’t affect him. “It didn’t bother me.” Nor did the beam from the lights. Halloran has lived in Chestnut Hill for thirty nine years and sent all four of his sons to CHA. 

Mr. Halloran said he was open to more night games, but only if the school promised to improve the parking situation. He explained, “I have concerns about the parking on Huron street. By the corners. It’s mostly the students. Where they park [their cars] makes it hard to turn. It’s dangerous.” 

Mr. Halloran, however, was grateful that the school sent out gift baskets and flyers alerting the neighbors of the upcoming game. 

With so many opinions to consider, like the cost and the demands on the faculty staff, some might wonder if night games are even worth it. “I think what makes Under the Lights so great is the SCH community,” said Dave Wilson. “Everyone comes together.”

And whether students could expect an Under the Lights game next year? Dave Wilson wasn’t sure. “I don’t know if there are going to be lights [at future sports games]. We’ll know before Christmas.”

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About the Contributor
Julien Friedland, Staff Writer, Editor
Julien is currently a junior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, and this is his first year on staff. Outside of school, he can be found playing golf, reading a book and trying to find the best places to eat. He also likes to play the electric bass.
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