Donation Allows Night Football Games At West Liberty University

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West Liberty University's football team can start playing night games this fall thanks to the donation of a new lighting system.

The gift from Wheeling native and alumnus Gary West is valued at nearly $500,000.

West Liberty President Robin Capehart says it will dramatically improve both the player and fan experience at Russek Field. The stadium seats about 4,000.

The lighting project is the second upgrade funded by West. Artificial turf was installed in 2008.

West bought Valley Welding Supply and grew it into a business with 84 locations in 10 states.

Athletic Director Jim Watson says the team can also now practice in the evenings. That's better for players' class schedules.

The lights should be ready by Sept. 1. The Hilltoppers will play their first night game on Halloween.