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Sarasota County overhauled the lighting system at Ed Smith Stadium just in time for the Baltimore Orioles spring training.
Sarasota Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 3 years ago

New lights make debut at Ed Smith Stadium

by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

The Baltimore Orioles will play the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium March 17, under new lights for the first time in 25 years.

Sarasota County staff and other stakeholders held an official test of the $1.2 million lighting overhaul Monday, with positive results, said Sarasota County Sports Development and Athletics Manager Pat Calhoon. The system includes new technology, such as a phone application to control the lights, and are more efficient and environmentally friendly.

"They really look great," said Calhoon, who served as the stadium manager when it originally opened in 1989.

County staff originally expected the project to cost roughly $900,000, but asked commissioners in November to allocate additional funding to accommodate the lowest bid submitted by Himes Electric Company Inc. Commissioners had previously directed staff to fast-track the project to have the stadium ready for spring training.

Casual fans may not notice a difference during night games, but players will certainly appreciate the upgrade of the dated system.

"Those lights were burned out and they were used," Calhoon said. "It's really great to see the process finally come to fruition."

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