Not all in favor of football field lighting

Local News
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Some city council members aren’t fans of new lighting plans for McKinley Field. They say there will have to be more restrictions before they’ll approve the draft they have.

The school district wants to install lighting, but everyone has to take into consideration how it will impact neighbors.

Football fever is coming, but some city council members want to know how much of it will affect those who live near McKinley Field.

“Some council members have expressed concerns of the language in the draft.”

The plan is to build a turf field for Central freshman and sophomore games and varsity practices, but the improvements would add lighting to the area.

“Basically, there’s three areas of light trespass, they call it. Light that flows off onto someone else’s property. There’s uplighting and the impact of uplighting on light pollution as well.”

Bruce Knight says it’s something they can accommodate.

“Frankly, with today’s LED lighting standards, the lighting can be very specifically directed where it needs to be directed and avoid those problems.”

But, it’s not just lights. City council members have a concern with parking and the possibility for other football games. They say the current draft isn’t clear and some neighbors worry about the disruption in their quiet neighborhood.

“I understand they have their games and stuff to play and they have to practice for their football games and stuff. It’s for Central. I’m just not a big fan of a lot of the noise and stuff like that.”

Several neighbors disagree. They say they’re used to the lights and football already and it’s something they knew when they chose to live here.

“I think, yeah, it’s part of living in a city. If you want the dark and quiet, we live five minutes from cornfield. I think it’s part of living in town. We can get some blackout curtains.”

The topic will be raised at the city council meeting. It’s safe to say they’ll discuss strengthening the language in the draft. They also want to know if varsity football is playing on the field Friday night, if the facility can handle it.

The city council is also talking about another location which doesn’t create a problem for residents. The district bought property at the old McKinley YMCA on the north side of Church Street. It’s where they want to build softball and soccer fields. The complex will be in close proximity to neighbors. 

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