Spartan Stadium to get new lights for the 2017 football season
Spartan Stadium is about to get a lot brighter — MSU's Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to plan for permanent stadium lighting.
MSU is among three other Big Ten Schools without permanent lighting. The installation is projected to cost between $2 million and $2.5 million.
"The new contract for the Big Ten requires that you provide your own lights it was done that way because 10 of the 14 institutions have lights — and we run in a democracy," President Lou Anna K. Simon said.
The source of the funds will come from the athletic budget, auxiliary.
"The revenue, we think, from the new T.V. contract will pay for that," Simon said. "Unlike other institutions that are making athletic decisions that affect the cost to students, ours do not."
Simon said the lights will be needed even at 3 p.m. games, so it's not about night games.
"We're not using General Fund dollars for lights," Simon said.
Seasons prior, MSU used rental lights during games and according to Simon that includes day games.
"The new contract with the Big Ten Television contract requires those four institutions that do not have lights to put permanent lights in," MSU's Deputy athletic director Greg Ianni said.
Ianni said the lights installed will be LED to keep with MSU's energy efficiency up to code. He said the intent is to have the lights match what was installed in the Breslin Center and Munn Ice Arena.
"Temporary lighting — that is extraordinarily expensive," Simon said. "It's much more cost effective to do your own lights."
Simon said the lights would save MSU money in the long run due to not having to pay increasing rental costs.
"We're using this as an opportunity to be socially responsible and reduce our energy costs," Simon said. "The lights are going to be more energy efficient.
The plan for the lights is set to be approved in September to have the lights ready for the 2017 season.
In addition, the board also voted to replace the artificial field at Ralph Young Field, where Field Hockey plays. The project is estimated to cost between $850,000 and $1 million, which will be covered by the athletic budget.
Also, rollover contracts were approved for Mark Dantonio, Tom Izzo, Tom Anastos, Mark Hollis and Suzy Merchant. Dantonio's contract was renewed earlier in the year.
"We have a great set of coaches and it signals to people we intend to keep them for a long time," Simon said.