Royals use helicopter to replace old stadium lights with new LED bulbs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals will have a whole new look next season – literally.

The stadium lights are being replaced Wednesday with LED bulbs, and it will give the team the ability to do many more things during the games.

Crews used a helicopter to get the new lights in place.

Starting at 8 a.m., they began flying sections of lights from the parking lot to the field, grabbing a new section every two to three minutes. The lights will be put into place on the third base, first base and outfield sections – that’s a total of 412 LED bulbs. You can watch crews in action in the video player below. 

The other stadium lights over the stands will also be replaced with LED bulbs – just not Wednesday morning. Royals officials say they are doing this for several reasons. One, the old bulbs, which were taken out of the light banks a few weeks ago, were so old, they had to beg, borrow and steal to replace parts whenever something broke.

These new LED lights will be cheaper to run, they won’t have to warm up when they are turned on but will come up right away, and they will provide better coverage of the field so the players and fans can all see better at night.

Also, they will be able to program the lights to turn different colors and do different things after a homerun, big play or win.

"We will be able to play with them more because we can program them for a home run, they can flash when the Royals win, we could do fun things with them, so this will be an experience not only for the players but also for the fans," Royals spokesperson Toby Cook said.

The Royals are using the same company that replaced all the lights for the Houston Astros, who jut won the World Series, so we’ll see if the new lights might help the Royals get back to the postseason next year.

The Royals and Jackson County are sharing in the cost of the new lights and because they are LED, the Royals will save around $43,000 a year in electric costs.

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