The Bethlehem Central School District Board of Education this evening tentatively approved reinstating the playing of night games in the 2011-12 budget.
That will be made definite when the board reviews the budget decisions and adopts a plan in the coming weeks. The decision was made two years ago to halt night games, partly to save money. It was a controversial move.
Tonight, Superintendent Michael Tebbano said that decision was \a stupid mistake.
"I think cutting the night games does have a serious impact on the community," he said.
Moving the handful of football and other sports games played under the lights was intended to save about $15,000. That money accounts not only for the cost of running the lights, but of increased chaperone and police presence at the games.
Board member Laura Biernman, who cast the sole dissenting vote, said concerns over rowdy behavior was a part of the discussion.
"When we decided not to do the night games it was not just a financial reason," she said.
Since then, the district has instituted a policy that requires students under grade 9 to be accompanied by an adult when attending an athletic game.
Moving the games to the day also has meant a decreased ticket take, Tebbano said.