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UMBC can keep its busy stadium open after dark


The only negative aspect of the first night event at UMBC Stadium was the result of the Retrievers' soccer scrimmage with Old Dominion.

A 1-0 preseason loss to the Monarchs on a second-half penalty kick last Saturday will be forgotten when UMBC opens its season at 1 p.m. Saturday against the University of North Carolina-Asheville.

Seven of the Retrievers' other eight home games will be played at night, as athletic director Charlie Brown makes immediate use of the latest addition to what was already one of the area's more popular venues for soccer and lacrosse.

The project cost $220,000, which will be paid back out of the Retrievers' athletic budget over the next five years.

"We needed to do this," Brown said. "It's going to make it easier for our students to attend events here, and I just think it adds to a superb facility."

The Maryland Bays were supposed to play professional soccer at UMBC Stadium this summer, but they folded. Besides being the home field for the Retrievers' soccer and lacrosse teams, Brown wants others to use the stadium. High school lacrosse championships are annually held there, and Brown said, "We would love to host the state soccer tournament."

At the same time it was touting a new addition, UMBC bid farewell to Dr. Michael K. Hooker, its president of the past four years who begins presiding over the University of Massachusetts system tomorrow. His last official act at UMBC was a ceremonial plugging in of the lights.

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