Mansfield installing turf field

Mansfield University, which hosted the first night football game in 1892, is adding lights and artificial turf to Karl Van Norman Field, interim school president Dr. Allan Golden said Thursday.

The school plans to have the renovations ready for the fall season. Construction will begin in May, after the school year.

The field and lights will be debuted on Sept. 14, 2013, when Mansfield will play Princeton in its first home sprint football game. Mansfield is also going to play field hockey vs. Shippensburg that afternoon.

The synthetic grass field, built by AstroTurf, will host all MU?sprint football, field hockey, and selected women’s soccer games.

The school said the field can also be utilized as a practice venue for spring sports, and host other university and community events.

Mansfield annually celebrates the world’s first night football game with the Fabulous 1890s Weekend, which includes a reenactment of the original game played by 1892 rules.

Lights will allow Mansfield to host its first outdoor night athletic contest since the world’s first night football game on Sept. 28, 1892. Mansfield played Wyoming Seminary on that date with temporary lighting provided by what would become General Electric Corporation. The game was held as part of the Great Mansfield Fair.

The first night football game this fall will be vs. Princeton, which participated in the first-ever football game in 1869.