NANAIMO -- After 44 years of going dark when the sun goes down, Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo has now been outfitted with LED field lights.

The installation cost nearly $1.1 million and is the first project to be completed in a multi-phase redevelopment for the stadium. The first phase also includes a new scoreboard.

The new lights will benefit baseball teams in the Harbour City by lengthening their seasons and giving them more practice time. 

“Over the years we’ve always had a problem when we go to Langley or the Okanagan with fields that have lights and now we are on par with everyone else,” says Doug Rogers, longtime head coach and now assistant with the Mid-Island Senior Pirates.

The Pirates had their first practice under the news lights Monday night.

“I feel like I’m on the moon right now," says Rogers. "I never thought I would see this happen, having the stadium lit up after 50 years of it being erected is awesome."

There are eight field lights that stand between 70 and 80 feet in the air.

The City of Nanaimo says the LED lights are designed to provide specific lighting levels on the field level for optimal playability, including up-lighting into the sky for those long-hit balls to centre field. 

On July 31, 1976, Serauxmen Stadium opened in a ceremony which included baseball hall of famer Mickey Mantle, as well as hockey hall of famer Johnny Bucyk of the Boston Bruins.