Lighting impacts so much of our day-to-day lives that we hardly realize the true extent to which we rely on it. One of the most fun uses of lighting is in stadiums. The Super Bowl was this month and relied on extensive, powerful lights to make the game watchable. A few years ago, the lights going out at the Super Bowl delayed the game for over 20 minutes and caused a huge shift in momentum that allowed the Ravens to win. So if you’ve ever wondered how sports come to rely on stadium lighting so much, this is the blog for you!
The Dark Times Before Stadium Lighting
Sporting events and athletic competitions travel back thousands of years before the invention of the light bulb. Sports had to be done during the day. The ancient Olympics for example concluded its events at sunset. If you remember back to your days as a kid, you probably remember how much it would suck when the sun went down and you had to stop playing outside. The ancient Greeks would certainly relate and it wouldn’t be until the invention of the incandescent lightbulb that things would change.
After Edison invented the lightbulb, people searched for ways to incorporate the new technology into their lives. While lightbulbs entered homes and workplaces, it took a while for stadium lighting to be attainable.
At the time, baseball was far and away the most popular sport, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the so-called “night game” came to be. After first gaining popularity in the minors, the first night game in the MLB was in 1935 at a Cincinnati Reds home game. Nowadays, the vast majority of games are played at night. Interestingly, the Chicago Cubs wouldn’t play their first home night game until 1988 nearly 50 years later.
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