PARA gets $1.3M for new lights at Sokol Park

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson

Sokol Park is about to get a lot brighter, as the Tuscaloosa County Commission recently approved $1.3 million in funding for new LED field lights.

The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority is getting new lights for six baseball/softball fields in Sokol Park South and lights for one soccer field in Sokol Park North.

PARA Marketing Manager Becky Booker said that while the price tag is high, these lights are a lot more high-tech than your average bulbs.

“The lights are LED lights so they will be a lot brighter than the old lights,” Booker said. “They can carry a big wind load and they have to be installed properly. It’s industrial lighting.”

Currently, it’s been difficult hosting night games at Sokol Park South, but these new lights mean that won’t be a problem anymore.

“We have been without lights at Sokol Park fields for about five years,” Booker said. “PARA’s baseball leagues are really winding up. We have about 400 (players) in our league, there is another organization starting a fast pitch girl’s league, and then we have tournaments like crazy.”

Sokol North and Sokol South did have lights on every field at one time, but they were removed because of safety hazards, Booker said.

“That’s part of the reason why we had to have new lights because the old ones have rusted from the inside,” Booker said. “Hopefully, these can withstand the wind load that happens when those lights are so high up in the air.”

The project is being funded by Tuscaloosa County’s American Rescue Plan allocation.

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