MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — If you’ve driven along I-65 this year, you may have noticed the annual light show at Hank Aaron stadium isn’t there.
It’s a family tradition for many to head over to Hank Aaron Stadium and drive through the light show synced to music. But this year, the stadium’s parking lot is dark.
Normally, the parking lot of Hank Aaron Stadium would be bustling, filled with cars and music as families looked on at the Christmas Nights in Lights drive-through show.
“We normally take the grandkids there and see it. I like seeing it on the way to work myself, so I mean I was just wondering what was going on with it,” said Darnisha Matthews, a customer of Christmas Nights in Lights.
Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group took over managing the property in 2019 and has had the light show now for four years.
But instead of the show returning to the Port City, they had to pull it from Mobile after the city announced earlier this year that its 26-year contract with the property owners at Hank Aaron stadium was null and void.
“We had to make quick decisions on our light shows, our Thriller Nights of Lights, and our Christmas Nights of Lights, and unfortunately we couldn’t secure a location in Mobile quick enough, so we found the next best thing wherever we could find it,” said Ari Rosenbaum, President and managing partner with Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group.
The show is currently at Dezerland in Orlando, near Universal Studios.
“It is very unfortunate of course, our hometown is Mobile, so we’re very sad about having to leave for this year too,” said Rosenbaum.
Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group still is based in Mobile, they have an office and a large warehouse where they maintain the lights, make repairs and build new sets. But had to take the show on the road to stay in business.
“The Hank was always the center point of why we got into this in the first place. And it’s unfortunate to see it sitting there empty with nothing going on at the Hank. So it’s been a tough transition and everything happened so quickly, and we were in a position where we really couldn’t plan anything and plan a transition into anything other than a light show business because that was our biggest event,” said Rosenbaum.
Many hope to see the show light up the Port City once again.
“They need it for the kids, not only the kids but the adults too,” said Matthews.
Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group says they are hoping to bring the show back to Mobile next year, but they are still looking for the right location and space.