Results tagged ‘ Safeco Field ’
Earlier today the Mariners announced that a new, state-of-art main scoreboard is being installed at Safeco Field in time for the 2013 baseball season. It will be located in the same space as the main scoreboard had been, above the centerfield bleachers.
The new high definition board will replace the old scoreboard which included the black and white matrix screen and the video screen in the upper left corner and have been in use since the ballpark opened in 1999. Both units were on their last legs and we were fortunate to be able to get nearly 14 years of life out of them.
Over past few years, fans have been asking when there will be an upgraded scoreboard in Seattle. Now we know the answer: Monday, April 8, 2013, the Home Opener, against the Houston Astros.
As you see in the attached news release and artwork, the new HD screen will be the biggest in Major League Baseball and will feature the latest technology to provide fans with a great experience at the Safeco Field. Because it is basically one big HD video screen, it is completely flexible and can display the usual scoring information, lineups, etc., can be divided into sectors to provide a combination of information, stats and video at the same time then can become one large video screen.
Many improvements and upgrades have been made over the years, but the projects being done this offseason (the new main scoreboard and the outfield fences being moved in) are probably the most visible ever from the seating bowl.
We understand that some fans will say the Mariners should spend that money on players, not on a new scoreboard. Because the Mariners are responsible for maintaining the ballpark in first-class condition, to fulfill our responsibilities, a budget for these types of expenses is kept separately from the annual operating budget.
Head Groundskeeper Bob Christofferson is pretty talented with the spray paint nozzle. He pitched in today to help paint the Opening Night logo onto the field for tomorrow night.
Along with the painting duties, Bob’s got his crew mowing and raking and sweeping to get ready for Game #1 of the 2012 season.
The infield, which was replaced last October, is rooted and healthy.
The grow-lights that Bob and his crew have been using for the last month have helped. Bob’s achieved his goal of having the field in mid-season form for Opening Night.
Safeco Field head groundskeeper Bob Christofferson and his crew, who have been carefully tending the new infield grass installed last fall, are ramping up preparations for Opening Night.
One of the new tools they have in their repertoire is a system of mobile “grow” lights that will give the grass a head start on spring and summer conditions.
The new system arrived this week from the Netherlands and is already up and running. There are four mobile units, two large and two small. They’re basically long arms studded with bulbs mounted on wheels. The large units have 60 600 watt bulbs and can cover almost 4,000 sq. ft. The small units have 10 600 watt bulbs and can cover about 270 sq. ft.
The system, which is made by SGL, Stadium Grow Lighting, uses light on the PAR spectrum (photosynthetically active radiation) that provides the optimum growing conditions for plants. Christofferson will monitor special sensors installed on the roof and at field level to determine such things as CO2 levels, air and soil temperature, air and soil humidity and photosynthesis. Christofferson can then place the units wherever the grass needs a little boost. Initially, the units will stay in place 1-2 days before they’re moved to a new spot.
The goal is to have the field in mid-season form by Opening Night, April 13, and keep it that way all season.
Gerard van ‘t Klooster, who came over from the Netherlands to advise Christofferson on the system’s set-up and use, says the idea is to take chance out of the equation. “Next week will be the same as last week. The whole risk of poor conditions is less and less. You can control conditions so that you always have the best possible growing conditions.”
Here in the Pacific Northwest, light levels are fairly low all year, and shadows from the ballpark have always presented challenges for Christofferson and his crew. “We want it to be the best quality playing surface we can make it. The lights are just another tool to help us get there.”
SGL has systems in 96 locations around the world from Russia to Australia, The Philippines and across Europe. Next week, they plan to do an installation in Brazil. Safeco Field is SGL’s fourth installation in the U.S. The others are in Green Bay, Red Bull Arena in New York, and Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Christofferson says the Astros have used two of the small mobile units since last September, and the head groundskeeper there told him the results were immediate.
Van ‘t Klooster will be back in Seattle at the end of April to check on the field’s progress.