St. Louis Cardinals fans are given one more reason to celebrate the 2019 home opener against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium.
The Cards are lighting it up in 2019, giving fans a new visual experience when playing on home turf.
“We are told that this will be the best outdoor lighting facility in professional sports,” said Joe Abernathy, Vice President of Facility Planning and Engineering for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Eyes have been opened to the advantages of state-of-the-art LED lights. Busch Stadium is now one of 18 Major League Baseball stadiums with LED lighting technology.
The St. Louis Cardinals partnered with PLANLEDTM to install the lighting system. Abernathy said it has the highest, true-to-life color rendering in an outdoor sports venue.
“Increasing the quality and intensity of our light by about 25%,” said Abernathy.
“We are going to have a color rendering index of 90% which has never been done at an outdoor facility.”
The system provides 90% of the quality of natural light that allows uniformity by reducing shadows and glare. Whether fans are watching the game in stadium seats or from home, the lights are expected to improve the visual experience.
“You may see the ball better. You’ll see the colors much better,” said Abernathy. “With this 500k light that the LED system will put out, reds will pop out brighter and greens will be greener.”
He said the advanced nature of the LED lights improves broadcast quality for viewers at home since the system is HD compatible and 4K ready. Ultra-slow motion replays will no longer have the light flickering.
Abernathy detailed some of the advantages for players on the field.
“Certainly from a scientific standpoint, we met all the test requirements,” he said. “The glare is under control, which is one of the key things when it comes to providing brightness. With the 680 light fixtures, we can provide different angels of aiming and that becomes the key to controlling glare to make sure you’re not shining directly into a player’s eye from a location from which he might be seeing the ball.”
The new LED lighting technology also reduces operating and energy costs.
“Tens of thousands of dollars every year is what it’s going to save,” Abernathy explained.
The system is designed to have a life expectancy of 30 years with at least a 50% reduction in the energy required to operate the field lights.
“We won’t have to get up there every year and replace them. In fact, this particular system has a 20 year warrantee,” Abernathy said. “I won’t have to replace lights, they tell me, for as long as 30 years.”
The system is also capable of producing theatrical lighting effects and themes that can be programmed for home run celebrations and other special events.