The Friday Night Lights at White Stadium will go dark this September.
After a 70-foot stadium lighting pole at White Stadium was knocked over by Hurricane Sandy last season, the district had all the other poles tested to see if they are structurally sound. The pole that fell was rusted through at the bottom. It fell into the parking lot and didn’t hurt anyone.
All the poles were removed after the season. Earlier this week Boston schools Athletics Director Ken Still said they lights would not be be replaced until the end of this season, but on Thursday he said they will be back in by Oct. 4.
"Now they are stating that we should be up and running by Oct. 4," Still said on Thursday. "Maybe before that. So we're switching all the night games [back to White Stadium] after Oct. 4."
After the incident last fall, the city soccer championships were moved from White Stadium to other fields until all the other poles could be X-rayed for rust. While Still said at the time that those poles received positive results, he also said that the poles haven’t been replaced since they were first installed in the 1940s.
“When they X-rayed them there might have been one or two or three that were slighted,” Still said on Tuesday. “Rather than play with it they said ‘take them all' and that’s it because it was something they would have to do some time down the road anyway.”
This fall’s original draft of the football schedule had six night games slated for White Stadium. Those games were moved to other fields on the final football schedule released earlier this week.
Still said about 90 percent of those games will still be played at night but at other fields. Many of those games were moved to Saunders Stadium in South Boston. Four of those games that scheduled for after Oct. 4 that were originally moved to other venues will now be moved back to White Stadium and played under the new lights.
“We picked and chose different turf fields that were able to accommodate games when someone else was not on the field,” Still said. “The majority, almost 90 percent, were moved to night. Some might have been move to day if that was what the coach preferred.”
Last season the football field at Boston English was also out of commission because the turf was deemed unplayable. That field will be ready to go this fall. Dorchester, which played all of its home games at White Stadium in the past, will now play home games at the new turf field installed at the school.
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