Weekend celebration to mark return of night football at MU

MANSFIELD – Lights, camera, action! Mansfield University will have it all, and more, on Saturday as the new lights and artificial turf at Karl Van Norman are christened and the Mountaineers play their first night home football game since 1892.

“This game will be one of the most historic events in collegiate athletics this year,” said Fran Hendricks, MU president and class of 1979. “Princeton, which played the first football game in America, will face Mansfield, which in 1892 hosted the world’s first night football game. After a 121-year absence, night football returns to Mansfield and history will be made again.”

As part of Parents and Family Weekend at MU, the festivities will start on Friday with several events, including a concert by Arrival, an ABBA tribute band in Straughn Hall.

Saturday’s schedule includes an admissions visit day, concerts, a classic car show and the largest tailgate party in Tioga County history.

“We want this day, and the entire weekend, to have something for everyone,” Steve McCloskey, director of athletic operations and sports information, said. “History will be made September 14 and we want all of the Mountie Nation to be a part of it.”

Those who can’t be at Van Norman Field in person can still witness the historic night on television. SPORTSfever, an independent, sports television production and distribution company, will broadcast the game.

It will be available on Blue Ridge Cable in Northern Pennsylvania and on numerous local, regional and national outlets as well as in designated TV market areas in Pennsylvania and throughout New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, New York and Ohio. The broadcast also will be available worldwide on satellite.

“We’re pleased to invite the world to Mansfield for this historic event,” Hendricks said. “Through our partnership with SPORTSfever, millions of fans around the country and world will have the opportunity to experience what makes Mansfield University such a special place.”

The women’s field hockey team will be the first MU squad to play at home on the new turf, and should set an NCAA Division II single-game attendance record, when the Mountaineers take on Shippensburg Saturday at 2 p.m.

The kick-off for the MU-Princeton football game is set for 7:35 p.m., with pre-game festivities beginning at 7 p.m. Fireworks will follow the game.

Tickets are available at the MU Campus Bookstore in Alumni Hall, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and also will be available at the gate on game day.

For a full schedule of events and up-to-the-minute information on the entire weekend, visit lightup mansfield.com.