(KUTV) — The Salt Lake Bees baseball team began to install a new light-emitting diode (LED) system at the Smith's Ballpark in order to "enhance the viewing experience for players and fans," a news release by the Salt Lake Bees states.
The stadium, owned by Salt Lake City, is investing $630,000 to replace 342 metal halide lamps that are now obsolete with 168 new LED bulbs. This upgrade will reduce energy consumption and cut lighting maintenance costs, the Salt Lake Bees state.
"Salt Lake City will see our beautiful baseball stadium in a whole new light" Mayor Jackie Biskupski said. "These upgrades not only save costs and reduce energy but provide an even greater sports experience for families and fans."
The current, outdated system was installed 25 years ago. Because it had already exceeded its original lifespan, lights would suddenly turn off in the middle of games, according to the Salt Lake Bees.
The new LED system will "minimize glare and noise, illuminate brighter than the old lamps and require no time to warm up due to their efficiency," the news release states.
"It's a game changer," said Phong Nguyen, Energy Management Coordinator with the City's Department of Public Services. "We're not only improving the overall stadium experience, but we're also reducing energy consumption by 65 percent while saving money on maintenance thanks to its 25-year warranty."
According to Salt Lake Bees President Marc Amicone, similar upgrades have been implemented at other baseball stadiums across the country and are becoming the new standard in stadium lighting.
"We'll be able to brighten the field faster and more directionally, which will help reduce light pollution," Amicone said. "This new system even has special effects so we can enhance the fan experience when celebrating home runs or when the Bees win."
"We are grateful for the great partnership we have with Salt Lake City, which allows us to keep the ballpark a premier facility in Minor League Baseball and a vital part of our community," Amicone concluded.
The upgrades are expected to be completed before the 2018 baseball season begins.
The University of Utah team will play its home opener on March 23. The Salt Lake Bees will open on April 5.