Just going to put this here with an IT’S ABOUT F*^%ING TIME!
Purdue trustees make reference to Wrigley Field as they agree to add permanent lighting at Ross-Ade Stadium. Project: $5.6M,ready '17 season— Dave Bangert (@davebangert) October 14, 2016
I must say, I am very impressed and even surprised not only with the move, but with the speed it will happen. I did not expect them to be installed until the South End project got off the ground, but it is a very pleasant surprise. It is also one of those tangible signs that Purdue is, in fact, interested in competing in Big Ten football. It is not the end all, be all problem solver, but it is a necessary step in the right direction.
Once these are installed (and Michigan State completes theirs next season), Northwestern will be the final Power 5 conference team without permanent lights.
New Purdue AD Mike Bobinski says permanent lighting puts Purdue to get out of the noon kickoff slot. Trustees game for more night games.— Dave Bangert (@davebangert) October 14, 2016
Applause to Mike Bobinski, who finallly gets what I have been pushing for years here at this blog and what Morgan Burke never got. Burke once even said he can’t control game kickoff times, but as we have seen, he could because of the lighting issue.
Bobinski said temporary lights used in the past run $60K a game. Other #B1G w/o permanent lights: Northwestern and Michigan State.— Dave Bangert (@davebangert) October 14, 2016
That is correct, as of right now, but Michigan State will also be getting permanent lights for next season:
Michigan State University’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday unanimously approved permanent lights for the 93-year-old football stadium.
Greg Ianni, MSU’s deputy athletic director, said the project will cost between $2.2 and $2.5 million. The goal is to get final approval from the board at its September meeting, break ground in December and have the LED lighting system ready for the Spartans’ 2017 football season.
The $5.6 million price tag seems steep, so I wonder how much of it will be in preparation of the future Ross-Ade improvements such a ribbon boards and the north end zone scoreboard. Many schools have added their lights for $2-3 million, but I would imagine there would need to be extensive electrical work on the stadium’s east side to provide power to those light banks.
Ohio State added their lights for $13.7 million, but they had a much larger construction project as part of it. Kinnick Stadium at Iowa was only $375,000, but they already had partial lighting form a previous renovation and theirs were to get them to the proper wattage permanently for TV. Michigan’s lights were part of their large renovation a few years ago, too.
ADDITION: An astute reader points out that the Big Ten pushed Purdue to do it. I really don’t care what push it took. It was needed whether the conference pushed or not.