NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The installation of new lights in Harbor Park is nearly complete and people are already noticing the difference.
For the last several weeks, crews from Blackwater Electric have been braving the cold to install approximately 220 LED lights at the home of Norfolk’s Minor League team. A godsend, according to Mike Zeman, the Director of Operations for the Norfolk Tides, who said the 1993 metal halide lights had failed him to often.
“We’ve had power issues where the lights have gone out during a game and we had to wait 25 minutes for them to come back on,” Zeman said. “I’m looking forward most to the reliability that they are going to work … it’ll be a brighter field. It’s going to be a better playing surface because it’s going to be brighter.”
However some people have complained to Zeman that the brightness made driving on I-264 difficult.
“So when [installers] put all the lights up on the towers, they weren’t spotted to where they were going on the field,” Zeman explained. “So when we turned them on they were shining places they shouldn’t have.”
All lights must meet Minor League Baseball regulations and Zeman assures that all lights will be shining into the stadium before opening day.
The more energy efficient LEDs are being installed as part of $500,000 in improvements in the Norfolk’s 2019 budget. Ephesus Lighting Inc., out of Syraucse, New York, won the bid to provide the improved setup that includes 30 lights that change color.
“Gives us opportunity to do different things between innings and after games with the colored features,” Zeman said. “If everything is going to work, we are going to try to go green for St. Patty’s Day weekend.”
Opening day is scheduled for April 11.