Lights needed at Hornet Field

Jordan Santos

There is something special about playing sports at night under the lights, and Hornets’ players have described it as a feeling powerful enough to elevate their performance.

Men’s soccer sophomore de- fender Preston Davis believes installing lights at Hornet Field is much bigger than just playing night games.

“I think it would be a massive addition to the program and would really help us grow into an elite Division I program,” Davis said.

Unfortunately, the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Sacra- mento State do not get to enjoy this experience because there are no lights at Hornet Field.Since it became a permanent stadium in 2002, there have been no night games for both soccer programs, though there have been recent efforts by the men’s soccer team to address this issue.

On Friday, Oct. 17, it was announced that Sac State men’s soccer team will move its home game against UC Da- vis on Oct. 25 to play under the lights at Bonney Field, the 8,000 seat stadium used by Sac Republic FC.

Originally given a 2 p.m. start time, the Collegiate Causeway Classico will now be played at 7 p.m.

Coach Michael Linenberger and his staff have made an effort for years to bring night games to Hornet Field. Linen- berger believes installing lights to have late games would be a program-changer.

“We have been working on it for years,” Linenberger says. “[We] have been close several times, but nothing has worked out yet. Lights could help ele- vate our program to an entirely new level.”

Not only will night games be more exciting for the players, but the fans and parents of the players will have a more reason- able time to attend the match. Most home games this season have started at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.

“For one, everyone loves playing at night and I think it would help us in the recruiting process,” Davis said. “Also, I think it would allow us to get more support from fans be- cause instead of having to play a game, say on Friday at 3 p.m. when people are in school and still working, we can play a game at 7 p.m. and hopefully al- low more people to come.”

There is no debating how lights would benefit both the men’s and women’s soccer teams. The main issue has been getting Sac State’s administration on board to fund the project.

Brian Berger, the assistant athletics director of media relations for Sac State, thinks two different programs will receive lights once funds are secured.

“Getting lights for soccer and softball is a priority for the department,” Berger said. “We are still in the process of securing funds for these projects.”

According to the Office of Admissions and Outreach, Sac State broke a record for first time freshmen, enrolling approximately 3,700 students this semester.

More freshmen means more money because Sac State generates the majority of its funding through student tuition.

Installing lights and creating night games for both soccer would help make Sac State more competitive in athletics.