Homecoming is always an exciting time at RMU. And this year’s celebration, on October 8, is sure to be electric—literally.
This year will mark the first Homecoming game under the lights at Joe Walton Stadium. The lights, installed this past July by Musco Lighting of Oskaloosa, Iowa, were something that the university has been talking about since the stadium was built back in 2005, according to Director of Athletics Craig Coleman, M.D.
“The stadium was prewired and had bases installed, because we knew it was likely that at some point we’d have lights,” says Coleman.
The new lights are mounted on top of four poles, two 90-footers on the University Boulevard side of the field and two 100-footers on the stadium side. Each pole supports 16 lights that offer two lighting levels, a lower-intensity one for kids’ games and intramurals, and a higher one that meets NCAA standards. “It was all about shadow lines and the best placement for filming at night,” says Bill Joyce, director of planning and design.
The lights will help to solve a space problem for the university’s thriving club sports and intramural program. “Our club sports teams and intramurals have run out of time and space on our existing fields,” says Coleman. “These new lights will help by giving these teams a place to play at night.
Coleman adds that the new lights will also enable RMU to generate revenue from field rentals. “Lighted field space is a rare commodity and in great demand in the community,” he says.
RMU chose Musco's Light-Structure Green systems because they use less electricity and cost less to operate than conventional lighting. As energy-saving fixtures, they are very efficient and coincide with RMU’s ongoing sustainability initiative. The lights are also easier to maintain than standard stadium lights and minimize off-site spill and glare on adjacent properties.
“From a student life perspective, I think the new lights are a great thing for the general student population,” says Armand Buzzelli, director of campus recreation. “Now everyone will have the opportunity to play at a state-of-the-art facility.”