(WSB photo from 9 am Saturday)
If you checked in here this past Saturday – an unusually busy Saturday, news-wise – you might recall the saga of the West Seattle Stadium lights. We started getting messages and comments early Saturday morning from people saying the lights had been left on all night. (Bainbridge and Seattle Prep had played football there on Friday night; a WSB’er who refereed the game says the lights were off when he left.) Neighbors made phone calls; we even talked to a Seattle Parks (which owns the stadium) employee when we stopped by to get the photo above – but despite all that, the lights remained on till around 11 pm Saturday night.
We followed up with Parks on Monday. Joelle Hammerstad from the communications team looked into it, and over the course of the past two days, collected the following information on what happened and what’s being done about it:
First – it appears to have been a mechanical problem, not human error. Hammerstad says the Parks Duty Officer was eventually notified and “sent out an electrician who manually turned off the lights. We aren’t sure exactly what the mechanical problem might be, but we have ordered some new parts and will be working on it this week.” She says the lights at West Seattle Stadium have had mechanical problems before. The responsibility for turning them off/on goes to part-time staff who work on game nights, and, she says, “The person who worked Friday night said he turned them off when he left. … Our assumption is that the lights automatically turned themselves back on after the staff person left.”
The district has a hotline for athletic-field lights – 855-330-8400 – but the stadium is “not under the same system” so the hotline apparently doesn’t cover it, but Parks is making sure that the appropriate notification number IS posted at the stadium.