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Neighbors protest plans to light up Jesuit High School's football stadium

Jun 08, 2023

By James Taylor, CBS13 Photojournalist

August 25, 2023 / 11:10 PM / CBS Sacramento

CARMICHAEL – It's an unusual site at Jesuit High School's Marauder Field: the football team playing a game under Friday night lights.

The school had to bring in temporary fixtures and get a special permit from the county to play a night game.

"This is what's right to do for kids," said Chris Alling, president of Jesuit High.

The school wants to install permanent stadium lights because, as the Sacramento region's temperatures rise, it's unsafe for student-athletes to be playing day games in the heat.

"Field temperatures can be in the 140 to 150 range or plus," said Alling. "That's just really, really hot."

But neighbors who live near the campus are protesting the plan.

"Our family room and dining room are flooded with light," said neighbor Kelly Hughes.

They're also concerned about the increased noise and traffic at night.

"Any of these people given any thought to the impact that this has on our homes on our peace, on our lives?" said neighbor Maryam Smitherman.

The school says the lights will only focus on the field – and they have a team of staff and volunteers patrolling the area to address community concerns.

"Making sure that we are the good neighbor we hope to be for them," Alling said.

And they say shifting the game's start time will get temperatures past the peak heat.

"Temperatures change dramatically here in a matter of an hour, or hour and a half. So, believe it or not, 7 p.m. does make a big difference," Alling said.

The stadium lights proposal is currently undergoing an environmental study and will need to be approved by the planning commission before the lights can be installed.

First published on August 25, 2023 / 11:10 PM

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