Royals

Royals’ new stadium lights could be used in celebrations in 2018

There are lights missing from sections of Kauffman Stadium as the Royals plan to install LED lights.
There are lights missing from sections of Kauffman Stadium as the Royals plan to install LED lights.

If Royals catcher Salvador Perez hits a walk-off home run at Kauffman Stadium in 2018, fans would see fireworks. They also may see the lights that illuminate the field get switched on and off quickly.

That kind of thing will be possible for the first time, because the Royals are installing new lights ahead of next season.

The Royals are in the process of removing 600 “halide” lights and will replace them with 412 LED lights for 2018. Team officials said it will provide better overall coverage of the field than before and reduce the shadows.

“We don’t know that it will be noticeable for the average fan, but it will be a big deal for the players and umpires,” said Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president of publicity.

“The big deal with LEDs, I’m told, is that we can turn them off and on with a push of a button.”

The old lighting system took about 15 minutes to completely turn on.

Cook added that the lights can be programmed to flash or be synchronized to music. That would allow the team to incorporate turning out the lights into a celebration.

“We haven’t talked yet exactly about how we might incorporate that into games or into celebrations,” Cook said.

While the Royals are currently taking out the old lights, the new ones will be assembled in the parking lot at the Truman Sports Complex and then lifted to the four light stands via a helicopter. That is expected to happen in December.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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