When the Kansas City Royals began their season last week, they debuted new LED lighting at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals played their home opener on Thursday, March 29. That allowed the team the opportunity to showcase several changes to Kauffman Stadium that were completed over the offseason, including a new LED lighting system.
Completed in 1973, Kauffman Stadium has a capacity of nearly 38,000 and is regarded as one of the best examples of modernist stadium designs. A new grass field was installed at The K during the fall of 2017, and the organization determined that new LED stadium lighting was needed to replace the existing metal halide system.
“This year feels like a new start for the team,” said Toby Cook, Vice President of Publicity for the Royals. “We’re only a couple of years removed from a world championship, and the stadium looks better than ever. Yet we were excited to cast a ‘new light’ on Royals baseball. This installation by Musco makes that possible.”
Project leaders with the Royals conducted exhaustive research and explored a range of options from several manufacturers. They found that the quality and performance of LED sports lighting varied greatly, and ultimately chose to partner with Musco Lighting, whose system-based Total Light Control—TLC for LED technology has been installed at hundreds of major stadiums and arenas around the world.
Installation of the 412 LED fixtures—which replaced the previous system’s 600 metal halide fixtures—took place on December 27, with crews using a helicopter to lift the lights into place. The new system includes a number of distinctive features, including custom optics designed around the LEDs to achieve exceptional uniformity and create a stage-like setting; patented glare control technology to eliminate glare from affecting players and fans; and DMX integration that allows individual fixtures to synchronize with music to create cutting-edge light shows and celebrate home wins.
“We try to do be good stewards of our resources, for our fans and our players,” said Todd Burrow, Royals Director of Engineering. “The cost savings alone make this such an important upgrade to an already beautiful stadium. But everyone, on the field and in the stands, will benefit from better lighting at The K.”
With the new LED lights in place for the beginning of the Royals’ 2018 regular season, the organization expects to reduce energy consumption at The K by 59 percent. And CO2 emissions will drop by nearly 6,700 metric tons over the next 25 years—which equates to removing more than 1,400 cars from the road for a full year. A 15-year warranty covering parts and labor means the Royals won’t have to handle any maintenance on the system, or pay for it, through the year 2032.
“The Royals organization put in a lot of work and had a very clearly defined set of goals with the new lighting,” said Jeff Rogers, Vice President of Musco. “Obviously that included greatly improving visibility, saving energy, getting rid of glare. But I think the thing that we all were really excited about with this project is the fan experience. When you see the special atmosphere these lights create and the new special effects and light shows they put on, we think the fans will really love it.”