As the North Carolina football team heads into a highly anticipated season, Kenan Stadium will be more awash in Carolina Blue than ever before — thanks to a newly upgraded stadium lighting system.
More than 200 new LED game lights and moving spotlights were installed throughout the stadium over the summer. This will allow for brighter lighting during night games, as well as specialized light shows during the season.
Carmichael Arena — home to the gymnastics, volleyball, wrestling and women’s basketball teams — also received upgraded LED lighting and new video boards.
“Kenan Stadium and Carmichael Arena will look much better on TV,” Rick Steinbacher, senior associate athletic director, said. “It costs a lot less to operate. [The lights] are more beneficial for the environment. And because they're LED lights, they can do a lot of things that the older halogen lights couldn't do.”
Steinbacher also said this type of LED lighting is the new standard for stadium environments. Duke University's Wallace Wade Stadium switched to LED lighting in 2016, and N.C. State University followed suit last year.
It was time for a similar upgrade on UNC's campus.
“The lights that we had were in danger of no longer working anymore,” Steinbacher said.
These stadium updates come at a time when the University continues to face backlash over funding priorities because of its extensive maintenance backlog.
However, funds for the Kenan Stadium lights came from an athletics-specific source.