The Seattle Mariners have announced that Safeco Field will be the first Major League stadium to illuminate its playing field with LED lights. Installation of the new lighting system was completed this month and will be unveiled to the public at the team’s 17th annual FanFest on January 24 and 25.
The club says the LED lighting will significantly reduce glare and shadows on the field and create a better atmosphere for both players and fans, as well as better color and no flicker on the slow-motion technology for viewers watching games on HDTV.
Safeco Field’s LED conversion will reduce energy consumption for field lighting by 60 to 70% and provide more than 100,000 working hours as compared to about 3,000 hours for metal halide lamps. And unlike the old lights, which needed a 20-minute warmup, the new LED lights respond instantly when switched on.
“The benefits of converting to LED lighting are across the board from the play on the field to supporting the Mariners’ long-established sustainability goals,” said Joe Myhra, Mariners vice president of ballpark operations. “This project was the result of the work of many partners working together on this new approach to sports lighting.”
Several NFL facilities – the Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium and the Arizona Cardinals’ University of Phoenix Stadium, which is hosting the Super Bowl on February 1 – have converted to LED lighting, as has the Staples Center in Los Angeles.