May 7, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. -- Northern Illinois will add lights to the Soccer/Track and Field Complex, to be installed prior to the upcoming fall soccer season, NIU officials announced today.
"Obviously, we are ecstatic about the news that we will be getting lights on our soccer facility for this fall season,” said NIU men’s soccer head coach Eric Luzzi. “Our current coaching staff, as well as previous coaching staffs, have worked for the last 15 years to try to find a way for us to get lights on our field. Thanks to the great work of President (John) Peters, Jeff Compher, Christian Spears, Debra Boughton, Jeff Daurer and countless others, we are so excited to be able to play night games here at NIU"
"I have always felt that having lights on our field is the final piece to the ideal facilities puzzle here at NIU,” Luzzi continued. “When I look at the Convocation Center, the Yordon Center, the first-class academic support offices, the soon to be completed Chessick Practice Center and our state of the art turf soccer facility, I honestly believe that our facilities are among the best in the country. I feel fortunate to be a part of what is going on at NIU and I am immeasurably proud to be the men's soccer coach here. These top notch facilities enable us to provide a top notch experience for our student-athletes, which is what it is all about for us at NIU."
"I do think that having a bit better fan support is the one aspect of our program that I have always wished we could improve upon the most. I feel very strongly that finally having lights will enable us to attract the kind of crowds that our players deserve to be playing in front of. Our location is unique from the standpoint that there are a lot of young soccer players and fans that live in the suburban Chicago suburban who are just not able to get to our campus for a game that starts at 4:00 pm. I feel confident that having lights will enable us to reach out to this important demographic and bring the experience of high-level Division I soccer to a much greater number of fans and supporters."
Completed prior to the 2008-09 academic year, the NIU Soccer/Track & Field Complex features an eight-lane track conducive to both training and competition, and includes an eight-lane straightaway. Thanks to a "sandwich system" that layers two synthetic materials, the new track surface will be nearly impermeable to damage from rain and snow.
The turf has a FIFA 2-Star quality rating, meaning it measures up to the highest standards of artificial soccer surface available.