After returning from a week-long road trip to Kentucky and Ohio, the Quad-Cities River Bandits will see the game in an entirely different light.
A new high-performance, energy-efficient LED lighting system is being installed this week at Modern Woodmen Park, a project which involves replacing all four light towers beyond the Midwest League stadium’s outfield wall and installing new fixtures on four other towers which ring the infield side of the facility.
The project is scheduled to be completed before the team’s next scheduled home game on Monday, but with day games scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday the River Bandits don’t expect to utilize the new lights for a game until one week from today when Quad-Cities hosts Burlington.
When completed, the River Bandits will be playing in the first Class A stadium in the country with a playing surface lit entirely by LED lighting and one of just three in all of minor-league baseball.
Triple-A stadiums in Louisville, Kentucky and Rochester, New York, are also installing similar lighting for the current season.
“We always like when the Quad-Cities has a chance to lead the way and this is another one of those times,’’ River Bandits owner Dave Heller said. “The players should be able to see the ball better, the fans will notice less glare and the club will be able to use less electricity. That’s a win-win-win from our perspective.’’
The Davenport City Council approved the project and its estimated $300,000 cost in March, using capital improvement funds and dollars from the River Bandits’ stadium rent designated for ballpark improvement and maintenance.
Iowa-based Musco Lighting’s Total Light Control — TLC for LED technology is the system being installed this week.
The new system will reduce lighting energy consumption by 40 percent and reduce spill light and glare outside of the stadium. It also includes dimming and theatrical capabilities.
In addition, it brings the facility’s lighting up to current professional baseball standards.
“The old system served us well over time, but it was an area of concern in our last inspection from Minor League Baseball. Not all areas of the field were being lighted as well as needed by the requirements,’’ River Bandits general manager Andrew Chesser said. “This project addresses that and should serve us well into the future.’’
The lighting project joins recent clubhouse and storage area improvements at the facility.
“Fans notice the Ferris wheel and the new kids roller coaster and that entertainment is an important part of what we do, but the baseball operation is equally important,’’ Heller said. “We have an obligation to make this a good place for our players and coaches to work and this is part of that commitment.’’