Brooklyn Center High School (BCHS) had faced financial hardships for years, but when the Centaurs’ lights went out halfway through a heated football game in 2018, no one suspected that Friday Night Lights would be put on hold for nearly three years. The local energy company inspected BCHS’ lighting system, which was installed over 30 years ago by a different manufacturer, and quickly red-tagged it as a safety hazard, never to be used again. Because BCHS couldn’t afford new lights at the time, the school rescheduled all nighttime sporting events to the afternoon, complicating parents’ schedules and straining students’ school spirit and academic motivation.
Eventually, news of the situation at BCHS reached Thielen Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Adam Thielen and his wife Caitlin to give back to Minnesota’s communities. After researching sports lighting solutions, the Foundation determined that Musco’s Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ system would best meet BCHS’s needs and launched a fundraising campaign. The superior light quality and 25‑year parts and labor warranty provided the best possible solution at BCHS. In September 2021, the Centaurs played their first game under the lights in nearly three years, and the initiative earned the Foundation recognition as the Week 2 Community MVP by the National Football League Players Association.