All photos courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation
The Darien field hockey team was the first to take the new field with lights on Friday night, beating the Fairfield Warde Mustangs 7-0.
• Wave shines bright as lights in season opener
According to Mark Maybell of the Darien Athletic Foundation, the size of the crowd was large-for a field hockey game-comparable to a medium sized football game.
“Plenty of police were on duty, to direct both cars and pedestrians. Band students and parents worked in the concession helping Vavala’s. The new surround system sounded fantastic.
Because the lights are LED, the quality of light is beautiful,” he said.
DAF media livestreamed the game, announced by Damian Andrew, Lisa Lindley and Guy Wisinski. DAF also photographed the game and provides photos free to the public and press, Maybell said.
“One of the closest neighbors, who had quietly been among the most anxious about the lights, was walking his son home from youth football, came over to me and told me how great the lights looked and were not obtrusive at all. Parents and athletes were understandably ecstatic,” he said.
Schools Superindent Dan Brenner said he received a report from Darien High School principal Ellen Dunn: “It was a great night. Lots of families with middle schoolers and younger kids. Good family fun!”
The report from others who were there was that the lights were “awesome,” he said.
Football will host Brien McMahon on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m., which will be their first night game. There is expected to be a ceremony before the game to dedicate the new field lights.
The football team will also play under the lights on Nov. 3, when they host Wilton, also at 6 p.m.. While some around town have wondered whether games should start at 7 p.m., the agreement made regarding lights use makes 6 p.m. more practical, school administrators said. Athletic Director Chris Manfredonia clarified that the agreement in place says the lights must be off by 10 p.m.