Washington Grizzly stadium will be awash in lights on Saturday for the season opener, as the Grizzlies take on South Dakota for a 1 pm kickoff. The new lights are installed and will be in use, even though the Grizzlies have no night games scheduled this season. At least, not until the playoffs!

Assistant Athletic Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Events Chuck Maes said the lights will be on to provide a better television picture for ROOT sports. The lights will help wash away the shadows on the field for a sharper, clearer television image.

Maes says the continuing tradition of the Silvertip Skydivers will be on hold for at least the opening game as insurance and issues with the Federal Aviation Administration are worked out. Maes says the new lights will also make it more challenging for the skydivers to safely land in the stadium. Silvertip Skydiver Blaine Wright, veteran of hundreds of jumps into the stadium, was badly injured in the pregame of the Weber State game last season.

Maes also says a new ticket scanning system will be in place for the first time, requiring fans to keep their tickets in their possession and enter into the stadium one at a time. He says the new system will require a bit of patience by both fans and stadium workers.

Assistant UM Athletic Director Chuck Maes