Foote Field may get lights by next spring

Lights may be on their way to Foote Field, the ball field at Eisenhower Park on North Street, to the delight of local softball players and recreation officials who say the lights are sorely needed.

Milford’s Park Beach and Recreation Commission voted last week to install lights so softball can be played past dark at the field.

Recreation Director Paul Piscitelli said he is reviewing costs and funding availability. He believes there may be grant dollars left over from other recreation projects to help foot the bill.

“The addition of lights at Foote Field would be a great improvement to the recreational facilities in Milford,” Piscitelli said. “Milford’s softball program consistently ranks in the top of USA Softball registered teams in Connecticut and our teams have enjoyed great success at the state, regional and national levels of play.”

Park Beach and Recreation Commission Chairman Dan Worroll said the time has definitely come to get the lights installed: There are only lights at Washington Field, so games at all the other fields in town have to end by dark.

There are about 11 softball ballfields in the city, but some have limited use.

With 80 softball games a week, sometimes 20 a night, one rain date sets the whole program back considerably, Worroll said. With lights at Foote Field, it is expected that another two games can be played per night.

Piscitelli said lights at Foote Field, which have been proposed for approximately 30 years, will benefit the softball program in many ways. It will allow the department more flexibility in scheduling; reduce the number of double and sometimes triple headers at outlying fields where parking and congestion becomes a problem; provide more opportunities for youth softball, and let the city expand its program and attract tournaments.

“If the project moves forward in time for next spring, the additional 10 games per week that we will be able to add will absorb the anticipated loss of the equal number of games from Platt Tech, due to their proposed construction project,” Piscitelli said.

Like the lights at Washington Field, the Foote lights would go on automatically at sunset and turn off at 10:15 p.m.