Soccer club changes kickoff time in energy-saving trial

MANSFIELD, England (AP) — An English soccer club has brought forward the kickoff time of one of its league games as a trial run amid efforts to save money as energy costs escalate.

Mansfield’s fourth-tier League Two game against Walsall on Oct. 15 had a scheduled kickoff at 3 p.m. local time but it will now start at 1 p.m.

“The club is endeavoring to mitigate the forthcoming, considerable increase in energy bills,” the team from central England said.

“As part of these efforts, the earlier kickoff time will enable the club to discern whether significant savings can be made on floodlight usage and other energy costs.”

Mansfield said the club will note if the change affects “prospective attendances,” with 3 p.m. being the traditional kickoff time in English soccer, particularly in the lower leagues.

Clocks will go back in Britain on Oct. 30, marking the end of British Summer Time (BST) and a reversion to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The use of floodlights by teams becomes necessary the closer it gets to winter.

Energy price increases have skyrocketed first because of the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which sent fuel demand soaring, and then by aftershocks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Millions of people will be paying about 80% more a year on their household energy bills starting in October, amid a cost-of-living crisis in Britain.

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