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Purdue will add permanent lights at Ross-Ade Stadium

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue fans can look forward to longer tailgates and football under the lights next season. On Friday, the school announced it will add permanent lights in time for the start of the 2017 season. The Board of Trustees approved the expected $5.6 million project.

According to athletic director Mike Bobinski, a pending Big Ten media rights agreement will require all stadiums to have permanent lighting. "As the league has expanded and the number of conference games has increased, it's become necessary to have more flexibility for kickoff times throughout the season at all stadiums," said Bobinski. "Adding permanent lights does not mean an influx of night games, but we certainly will have some in the years ahead. Lights also are needed for 3:30 p.m. starts once the season moves into October and beyond."

The project is scheduled to begin in March 2017 and is expected to be completed in August. According to the school, no student fees or state support will be used for the project.

-- John Wilmhoff