Harvard Stadium to be Lighted For Olympic Soccer Games
Lights will brighten up Harvard Stadium for the first time in its 80-year history when the Olympic soccer trials come to town this summer.
The temporary fixtures--which will stay up for the six evening games in late July--are part of the elaborate preparations underway for the international event.
Director of Athletics John P. Reardon '60 said recently the lighting for the six evening games would be provided by a professional lighting company, but added that he had not yet decided which one.
"The lighting will be very easy, and very expensive," Reardon said. But he added that the lighting and other expenses will be billed to the Olympic Committee.
In a contract negotiated in January, the Olympic Committee agreed to pay Harvard a sufficient percentage of ticket sales to cover all costs, although officials would not state the amount.
"The purpose was not to make money. The purpose was to bring the games here. We consider it an honor, and good for the area. It's an American kind of thing," said Reardon.
Although the games may not yield Harvard much financially, Reardon said there will be other benefits. For instance, the Olympic Committee paid for the grassing-over of the stadium track, previously planned by Harvard.
Scott LeTellier, Olympic Committee Soccer Director, said recently the track removal will make Harvard's one of the few all-grass stadiums large enough for an Olympic-sized soccer field.
"It's still a little tight, but it fit." LeTellier said.
LeTellier explained that the Olympic Committee chose four stadiums on the East and West coasts to host the preliminary games. The other three locations are Navy, Stanford, and the Rose Bowl.
The stadiums had to meet three essential criteria all-grass fields, sufficient ground area, and availability, LeTellier said, adding that most stadiums were disqualified by those demands.
Sixteen teams will participate in the preliminary rounds. Those teams are currently being determined in world-wide competitions ending in April. During the first week of August, four teams will play in a round-robin tournament in each of the four stadiums.
The winning and second-place teams from each stadium will then travel to Los Angeles for final competition.
LeTellier said general ticket order forms are currently available through all Sears stores, and added that specialized soccer ticket forms will be available through many local retail stores within the next few months.
Reardon said that officials expect to seat 35,000 spectators in the newly renovated stadium, without extra seating.
Extra seating would be impossible because of the field size necessary. Anderson said, adding that he didn't think demand would warrant the construction of new starts.
According to Reardon, Olympic athletes will be housed by Harvard in Quincy House. He said that Harvard Food Services would provide meals, but guessed that many teams would bring their own cooks.
LeTellier said that Harvard and local communities are being encouraged to take part in preparations for the games. However, he said he did not want to start advertising too early.
At the Penn football game two weeks ago, the Olympic flag was flown and a plaque was presented, naming Harvard Stadium as the official site for the preliminary games