Clarke Hinkle Field needs a little extra work to get ready for Friday evening's opening training camp practice.
It needs lights.
The lights will be installed and tested on Thursday to assure everything is in working order prior to Friday's 6:30 p.m. practice, the first of eight prime-time sessions during the first three weeks of training camp.
The Packers are renting 11 mobile towers from Magnum Products LLC to light the field. Five units will be placed along the Don Hutson Center, five will be spaced out along Oneida Street on the street side of the fence, and an extra unit will be located in the alley behind the field to the player/coach parking lot.
The set-up will force the closing of Oneida Street near the field during the evening practices.
Ted Eisenreich, the Packers' director of facility operations, noted that when the subject of night practices was first broached by new Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the team did explore permanent lighting for Clarke Hinkle Field but decided against it for now.
"Those options were not cost-effective," Eisenreich said. "We're still working on it, and if this is something we continue to do in the future we may still go that route, but that didn't work out this year."
The team tested temporary light towers from two different companies. One tower was similar to traditional stadium lights, but the size of the towers restricted the placement to Oneida Street only. Without being able to set up any towers along the Hutson Center, the lighting wasn't adequate on that side of the field.
General Manager Ted Thompson and McCarthy tested the towers from Magnum last month and determined that being able to install them on both sides would best meet the team's practice needs.
"They gave us more even light, so that problem went away," Eisenreich said.
Magnum Products LLC is based in Berlin, Wis., and was recently named the 2005 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year for medium-sized companies. Magnum employs 252 people and has been a leading supplier of mobile light towers, generators, water trailers and trash pumps for the U.S. military efforts in Iraq. The company also has worked with NASA's space shuttle program.
Cost of the rental units is still being determined in negotiations with Magnum.
After Friday, the team's other evening practices will take place on July 30, Aug. 1, Aug. 3, Aug. 7, Aug. 10, Aug. 15, and Aug. 17.