Battle Over Stadium Lights Forces San Marin High to Hold Homecoming in the Afternoon

San Marin High School’s football field went from Friday night lights to darkness this weekend after the school’s homecoming game was pushed to Saturday following a last-minute injunction to stop the game.

A four-year court battle will continue between neighbors, who are impacted by the noise and stadium lights, and the school. 

A final ruling will be held November 14, which is after football season ends.

“I’m not a youngster, I like to go to bed at 9:45 sometimes and yelling and screaming, I’m not going to bed,” said neighbor Norm Zeiser.

Last week the school held its first football game under new stadium lights after the Navato Unified School District voted unanimously to turn on the lights after filing a revised environmental impact report. Following the four-year battle, the school district thought they had the judge’s blessing to move forward with night games.

But the last-minute injunction put a stop to the homecoming game, and instead football practice was held Friday night.

“I can’t tell you the meetings we’ve had with the neighbors trying to work with regulation to work with them,” said Tony Franceschini, a football coach. “We’d offer something, they’d say ‘no, we don’t want the lights.’”

Tesfy Gebremichael, a parent at the school, pointed out that the night games are rare.

“How many games they gonna play a year? Maybe three or four days,” he said.

“It’s a high school and if they want to live near a high school they should expect the lights,” said student Joey Cook.

Michael Joly with Save San Marin Coalition said that the community needs to heal and being in the press may be adding to the problem, not the solution. 

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