- Game's 2:30 p.m. start on NBC Sports Network requires lighting
- Yale also planning to install turf, offseason bubble on Bowl
The Yale Bowl will have temporary lighting banks this season for the 132nd playing of the rivalry known as ‘The Game.’ It will be the first time that lights were brought into the stadium for any Bulldogs sporting event.
The Yale-Harvard game was given a 2:30 p.m. Eastern start time on Nov. 21 as part of the Ivy League’s television contract with NBC Sports Group. NBC will handle the installation and coordination, according to Steve Conn, a spokesman with the Yale athletic department.
“We’re still trying to figure out exactly what that would entail, because it’s never been done before for a game,” Conn said in a telephone interview.
For example, Conn said it was too early in the planning to know how many lights will be needed at the New Haven, Connecticut, stadium. Yale’s plans for the stadium were reported this week by the Hartford Courant.
The Yale Bowl was the world’s largest athletic stadium when it opened in 1914, and the first football stadium with seating completely surrounding the field. Today it seats 61,446, down from its original capacity of more than 70,000. It has had temporary lighting for a few different non-sporting events, most recently during the university’s tricentennial in 2001.
The Yale Bowl may undergo permanent changes in the next few years. Conn said the university is in the planning stages of replacing the grass turf with artificial turf, and adding a 65-foot bubble roof for use only during the winter.
Conn said it was too early to say how much the renovations would cost. Once the plan has full approval, the department will begin fundraising with the goal of completing the project by next year or the year after.
Harvard-Yale is the third most-played rivalry in college history, trailing only Lehigh-Lafayette (150) and Yale-Princeton (137).