A night game is a sporting event that takes place, completely or partially, after the local sunset.
Although night games played under artificial illumination dated back to the 1880s and were introduced in minor league baseball in the late 1920s, they were initially dismissed as an unwelcome gimmick by the big-league clubs. The first night game in Major League history occurred on May 24
, when the Cincinnati Reds
beat the Philadelphia Phillies
2-1 at Crosley Field
. The original plan was that the Reds would play seven night games each season, one against each visiting club. Night baseball quickly found acceptance in other Major League cities and eventually became the norm; the term "day game" was subsequently coined to designate the increasingly rarer afternoon contests.
The last non-expansion/non-relocated team to play all their home games in the daytime were the Chicago Cubs; they played their first official night game in Wrigley Field on August 8, 1988, and beat the New York Mets 6-4.
The first night All-Star Game was held at Philadelphia's Shibe Park in 1943, while the first World Series night game was Game 4 of the 1971 Series at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.
The term has also been adopted by other outdoor stadium sports such as American football
. The first night football game
was played in Mansfield, Pennsylvania
on September 28
between Mansfield State Normal
and Wyoming Seminary
. The world’s first night football game ended bitterly at halftime in a 0-0 tie.
Automobile races at night can take on two different forms. Sports car races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans manage to continue running through the night by having the competing cars utilize headlights.
The alternate possiblility involves installing a system of flood lights along the circuit to illuminate it for cars that do not have headlights. The lights must be designed to diffuse light over a large space to reduce glare on both windshields and a driver's visor. Systems such as this have been common in short track racing for many years. The night NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway's half-mile track in Tennessee is among the most popular events of the season. The first modern oval track over 1 mile (1.64 kilometers) long to install a lighting system was Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1992. NASCAR sanctioned races have been held at night for many years due to systems like these. MotoGP held its first night race at Losail International Circuit in 2008. Formula 1 held its first night race at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
The use of floodlights in cricket matches has helped to bring much investment into the game both at a national and an international level since it began in 1977. Today floodlit (day/night) cricket is played in most of the test playing nations although some nations have only started hosting day/night matches in the last 10 to 12 years.