KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The grounds crew at Kauffman Stadium is doing its part to field a World Series-caliber stadium.
It starts with lights that warm up faster than any pitcher ever could.
“Occasionally when we have cloudy days, the umpires will say you need to fire the lights up,” Toby Cook, spokesman for the Royals, told 41 Action News. “Well that takes 10 to 15 minutes.”
The 600 halide lights at the K are being replaced with 412 LED lights that come right on with the push of a button. Cook said the move is both time and energy efficient.
“We don’t know what we’re going to do yet, but if somebody hits a home run and we want to flash a light or tow, or if the Royals win and we want to flash the lights, we can do that as well.”
Crew members are working on the first major field renovation since Kauffman Stadium switched to natural grass during the 1995 season. Fans won’t notice much of a difference, but the players will with the new grass. And whenever it rains, Cook says the drainage will be much better than a season ago.
“When it goes in, theoretically, you can drain about 20 inches an hour if you had a massive storm, but it had gotten to the point where it could only drain about 5 inches.”
The new LED lights should be completely installed by the end of the year. Royals leaders said they should see energy savings of nearly 30 percent.