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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Shedding light on Sweeney Field

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The new lights were installed over Winter Break. PHOTO: KELLY SHANNON ’24/THE HAWK

A high-tech LED light system was recently installed on Sweeney Field, providing athletes who use the field with what one called a more “professional” experience.

Zach Cole, a fifth-year face-off specialist on the men’s lacrosse team, said team members can now see the ball better at night. The old lights negatively affected game play, he said.

“The lights are angled downward, so instead of looking at the lightbulb and into the light, the ball is way easier to see,” Cole said.

St. Joe’s women’s soccer Head Coach Jess Mannella confirmed other schools had complained about the poor quality of the old lights before they were replaced.

The lights were installed over Winter Break, with installation beginning Dec. 12, 2022 and completed Jan. 13.

Men’s lacrosse Head Coach Taylor Wray said good lighting is especially important for a sport like lacrosse where the ball stays in the air for most of the game. 

“The new LED lights’ glare off the surface of the turf is much better,” Wray said. “But most importantly, the glare from the lights themselves is dampened tremendously.”

Amanda Hall, deputy athletic director for operations and campus recreation, wrote in response to questions from The Hawk that the new lighting is more effective and energy efficient. Hall said the old system was not only difficult and expensive to maintain but “outdated and insufficient in terms of performance.”

“The new system has increased and guaranteed light levels and will reduce energy use and maintenance costs 50-85%,” Hall wrote.  

When asked how much the lights cost, Hall said that information could not be released to the public. 

Wray said the new lighting system was a necessary upgrade.

“Our team is thrilled that we will be able to play games in a lighting environment that is suitable for Division I athletics,” said Wray, adding that anyone who plays on the field at night will benefit, including those who play recreationally or for intramural sports.

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