Photo Description: The new Bulldog Stadium lights shine down over the field
Photo Credit: Josiah Seabaugh
By Josiah Horvath
A hailstorm and a falling light pole have led to a new videoboard display and all new poles and lights at Bulldog Stadium.
The video board now has enhanced graphics, and the lights now have special effects, which some students may have already seen.
“If you come to the night games—football or soccer—you’ll see some different graphics on our videoboard because the benefit of it is — it’s newer. It’s the same model but it’s newer so the graphics look so much better,” said Director of Athletics Devin Smith.
These new installations were prompted by a hailstorm in June of 2022, which damaged the lights, scoreboard, and videoboard.
The lights were bought from Musco Lighting for $400,000. They are light-emitting diode or LED lights, which are less expensive more effective, and energy efficient. Additionally, these lights allow for special effects and light shows to entertain the audience.
“I’m just thrilled for our campus, thrilled for our students to go to games to see some of the neat stuff that we can do now,” said Smith.
The plan was to replace the lights but then last March one of the stadium lights fell—pole and all—into the middle of the stadium. No one was hurt.
“I was in Janzow with friends, and in the corner of my eye, through the window, I noticed something tall start to move,” said student Nathan Kurth. “I realized it was the stadium light, and it was starting to fall. When it fell, the cafeteria shook slightly and there was a low-pitched boom. The room fell silent.”
Smith said it was a blessing that the pole went down when no one was around and that it fell into the stadium and not toward Thom.
After the collapse of the pole, an investigation was conducted. Hairline fractures were discovered at the base of all of the remaining original poles, according to Smith, however, the cause of these hairline fractures remains unknown.
The poles were taken down after the collapse in March and replaced along with the stadium lights before the beginning of the Fall semester.