|Posted September 15, 2010|
'Night Soccer Series' kicks off Wednesday
CSU-Pueblo soccer programs to unveil new lighted facility Wed., Fri.
'Night Soccer Series'
Wed., Sept. 15: Men's Soccer vs. Montana State-Billings, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 17: Women's Soccer vs. #10 Fort Lewis, 7 p.m.
Mon., Sept. 20: Men's/Women's Soccer ThunderPup Clinic, 5:30-7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 24: Women's Soccer vs. Regis, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 1: Men's Soccer vs. Regis, 7 p.m. (Women vs. Mesa State at 4 p.m.)
Fri., Oct. 8: Women's Soccer vs. Adams State, 7 p.m. (Men vs. Colorado Mines at 3:30 p.m.)
Wed., Oct. 13: Women's/Men's Soccer vs. UC-Colorado Springs, (Women at 4:30 p.m., Men at 7 p.m.)
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 14, 2010) - The first ever night soccer games in CSU-Pueblo history will take place this week, when the Pack men's soccer team hosts Montana State-Billings in a non-conference match Wednesday night and the women's soccer team hosts nationally-ranked Fort Lewis in the team's RMAC opener Friday night.
Games kick off at 7 p.m. There will be a total of six night soccer games during the 2010 "Night Soccer Series," taking place on Wednesday and Friday nights this season.
Tickets are $5 for adults, and $4 for seniors, K-12 students and CSU-Pueblo staff. CSU-Pueblo students, as is the case with all CSU-Pueblo athletics events, are granted free admission.
The night games will give the ThunderWolves the opportunity to shatter existing attendance records. The largest crowd in school history, with nearly 500 in attendance for the 1999 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship vs. Fort Lewis at the Rawlings Soccer Complex, is on target to be shattered this week.
The night games help to make soccer games more fan-friendly. Previously, soccer games were routinely held on late Friday afternoons, when many would-be fans were still in class or at work.
"The lighted complex is a great benefit for both the men's and women's soccer programs," CSU-Pueblo Director of Athletics, Joe Folda, said. "Night games are easier for fans to attend and it helps eliminate our soccer student-athletes' conflicts with classes."
The lighted complex is part of a long-term facility renewal plan, of which lights are the first stage, Folda said. In the coming years, the CSU-Pueblo Department of Athletics will attempt to secure funding for a variety of other projects, which may include new turf, stadium-seating and a new press/scoring area. Though no other projects are officially planned at the moment, the continued improvement of the facility is a top priority, Folda said.
"With new facilities for a number of our programs having been built the past few years, we are making our best effort to renovate and modernize the soccer complex," Folda said. "It won't happen all at once like it did at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl or Massari Arena, but we are doing our best to follow through with this long overdue project."
The lights were made possible by funding from the CSU-Pueblo Associated Students' Government, which made soccer field lighting a priority in their facilities improvement budget on the campus. CSU-Pueblo ASG President, Steve Titus, said the addition of lights can change a lot in both the health of the soccer program as well as campus culture.
"We felt we had to do our best to make facilities resources available for our top athletics programs," Titus said. "You can go to a night game for any CSU-Pueblo sport except soccer, and having night games be possible gets fans to stay on campus Friday nights into Saturday afternoons for football games, and that can go a long way to improving the community on campus."
A preview was held for the "Night Soccer Series" on Aug. 22, when the men's team hosted Otero Junior College in an exhibition game. Had it been official, the game would have come very close to breaking school records for single game attendance, as an estimated crowd of over 400 were in attendance.
Soccer Attendance Games
1. vs. Fort Lewis, 1999 RMAC Championship (484)
2. vs. Mesa State, 2008 (424)
3. vs. Fort Lewis, 2008 (412)
4. vs. Metro State, 1999 RMAC Semifinal (385)
5. vs. Colorado Mines, 2008 (378)