The SLV Booster Club has considered buying permanent lights for the 3-year-old sports complex at the high school.
“The boosters are budgeting and planning to address that issue in short order,” club president Scott Lipperd said. “We’re confident we could undertake the task, if we deemed it appropriate.”
The club still must determine the exact cost and construction specifications, but the groundwork is being laid in case attendance figures at the Oct. 16 game reflect enough excitement from fans and the student body, Lipperd said.
“Before we commit to a large project, let’s make sure it’s going to work,” Lipperd said.
Principal Mike Arredondo said he talked with officials at Soquel High, where they said night football games brought in between $13,000 and $15,000 each night, compared with about $5,000 for day games.
‘That’s huge in a time when budgets are so tight,” Arredondo said.
While the idea has been talked about in the valley for years, Arredondo got the ball rolling after a home game last season. He talked with longtime varsity coach Doug Morris, who then approached the booster club with the idea.
The Oct. 16 game will use portable lights rented for $4,000 from United Rentals, paid for by the boosters. If they decide to go forward with permanent lights, the club will contract with Musco Sports Lighting, a company that builds field and stadium lighting.
“SLV’s been waiting a long time to do it,” Lipperd said. “Now we have a first-class facility, it’s kind of like a cherry on top.”
Night games would also help players, Arredondo said, as the rubberized turf can heat up at least 10 degrees hotter when the sun beats down on it during the day. Against Watsonville High two weeks ago, the temperature was in the ’90s, and the field temperature may have been well over 100 degrees.
Arredondo hopes the student body shows up to the game in force, as parents and community members usually outnumber students two- or three-to-one at home games.
“We have really great parent support and community support,” Arredondo said. “We just need more students (to attend the games).”
Night football at SLV High School
• Freshmen: 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15
• Junior varsity: 6:30 p.m. Thursday
• Varsity: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16