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Sports Devil Rays Stadium

Lighting helps establish Devil Rays' Stadium
as a nighttime event place

Baseball fans attending a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game at the team’s home Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, are treated to all of the flash and festivity that this Gulf Coast locale has to offer. Swaying palms and bright foliage line the seven-block approach to the 43,600-seat stadium. Walkways burst with an array of colors while fiber optics create sunbursts in the sidewalks and techno beams shoot moving images across the ground.

When Florida Power Corporation (FPC) donated the multi-colored mosaic tile Sunsation Walkway that leads fans to the stadium entrance, the project included installation of a new lighting system along the 200-yard walkway and the seven-block Central Avenue approach. During the design phase, the challenge was not only to illuminate the walkway and the roadway as a means of promoting safety, but to match the new luminaires with the beacon-style fixtures that were already in place.

“Our goals were to beautify the area and boost the level of security for fans walking along Central Avenue and the adjoining Sunsation Walkway,” described Gavin Curley, project manager, FPC Product Delivery Department. “We wanted the lighting to be bright and crisp so a blimp flying above the area could photograph the walkway from overhead.”

The walkway depicts marine life and seascapes and displays the FPC logo.

Lighting fixtures selected for the project are twin Holophane Hallbrook® luminaires with 175-watt metal halide lamps. In some areas, the Hallbrook units replaced hat box-type fixtures with 250- and 400-watt high-pressure sodium lamps. The previous units were mounted on 35-foot poles.

“We chose the metal halide lamps because of their color rendering capabilities. People and objects both look better under the whiter light,” explained Phil Graham, FASLA, AICP, president, Phil Graham & Co., P.A. Graham specified the lighting system.

The Hallbrook luminaires, which feature double banner arms, are painted white and mounted on 16-foot white aluminum poles. More than 200 fixtures illuminate Sunsation Walkway and Central Avenue, spaced an average of 75 feet. Sunsation Walkway borders the stadium’s 10-acre parking lot.

“Holophane was willing to work with us to modify the fixtures and the mounting brackets so that they truly match the beacon-style luminaires that were already installed near the stadium. Even though the site is a half mile inland, the fixtures create a nautical feel that ties Tropicana Field and the surrounding dome district in St. Petersburg together aesthetically,” Curley said.

Illumination levels average 2 footcandles. Each twin Hallbrook unit has been modified so that the fixture on one side has a 175-watt lamp and the other has a speaker. The speakers allow fans to listen to the game and pre-game activities as they stroll along Sunsation Walkway.

“The lighting and the system’s flexibility have been key to the success of the entire project,” concluded Graham. “All of the elements have come into play to establish Tropicana Field as a nighttime event place.”

The Hallbrook fixtures are illuminated from dusk until dawn and are group-controlled by a photocell. FPC, which owns the fixtures, maintains the units.


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