Football Sports Community

Not So Bright Friday Night Lights

BOBBY ARDOIN
Editor/Consulting Writer

For years the lights shining down on the Donald Gardner Stadium playing field have been trending darker.

You would think that by now someone overseeing the citywide facility might take notice.

Or perhaps those responsible wear sunglasses when attending night games.

The prevailing darkened playing surface darkness is obviously noticeable especially inside the 20-yard lines.The lighting in that area of the field has gotten worse over the years.

Should we blame the city, which is responsible for stadium upkeep, or should we point a finger at those who don’t demand accountability?

End zone areas on both sides of the field are particularly shrouded in darkness.

Possibly at some point astute coaches can use the darkened end zones to their advantage with creative plays.

I can imagine a coach relaying this message through the headset: “Coach, run the play to the back of the end zone, the safety will never see us throw the ball.”

Burned-out bulbs are one issue. However many of those lights still illuminated are also the problem.

Many of the bulbs still shining are misdirected and cast light that is not aligned for football.

The news flash for those responsible is the stadium ceased being used for baseball many years ago when the sport became less relevant for several St. Landry Parish public schools.

So why are many of the lights pointing towards what was once the baseball infield and along the outfield baselines instead of the football playing field?

Is the problem money or is it that those paid to attend to the matter just don’t care?

Waiting for an implementation of the proposed $6.7 million redesign of the stadium and playing surface should not be an excuse not to act now to fix the lights and the other issues that are affecting Donald Gardner Stadium, first used in 1959.

In addition to the lights, there are reports of water leaks inside the team dressing rooms.

We’ve heard many times at Board of Aldermen meetings that it is time for everyone involved with the city, “to do better.”

Is that just an empty slogan?

Construction for a better sports complex facility might soon become a reality.

Until then it should be about holding responsible those who have the authority to make things better.