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Sports Miller Park Baseball Stadium
 

Lighting makes Miller Park fan friendly



More than a decade of planning and 4 1/2 years of construction went into building the $400 million Miller Park, the new home of the Milwaukee Brewers. From its statues of Hank Aaron and Robin Yount to its brick and stone façade and towering steel arches, the 42,500-seat stadium resembles the ballparks of the ‘20s and ‘30s. The facility is located in the parking lot of the old county stadium where the Brewers played in years past.

According to Robert D. Cooper, principal, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc., Milwaukee, when the stadium was designed, the owners wanted a facility that would stir memories of the days when baseball was king.


“The stadium has a retro look,” said Cooper. “The architecture evokes images of the industrial facilities that were once the heart of Milwaukee’s economy.”

Lighting for the stadium’s plaza area and walkways had to complement the structure’s architecture. Lighting designer Greg Sadowski, P.E., president, Powrtek Engineering, Inc., Waukesha, Wisconsin said the lighting system had to look good and provide sufficient illumination so fans could see where they were going. The exterior lighting at the former stadium made it difficult for pedestrians and drivers to see because of the very sporadic lighting layout.

“Miller Park has a different configuration than fans were accustomed to with the old stadium,” said Sadowski. “While we wanted enough light to assure the safety and security of the thousands of people who attend each game, we also wanted to keep the area open and uncluttered.”

Milwaukee Harp luminaires from Holophane were installed in and along the concrete walkways that wrap around the stadium and extend into the parking lots. The prismatic glass luminaires resemble the first harp-shaped fixtures that were used to light Milwaukee’s streets at the turn of the century. The post top units also complement the teardrop-shaped luminaires that were installed in the parking lots.

“We selected the Harp Series luminaires based on the fixtures’ aesthetics and their photometrics,” said Sadowski. “The Harp fixtures allowed us to light the walkways with fewer units, which helped keep the project within the budget.”

The Harp Series luminaires use 150-watt pulse start metal halide lamps for better light output and longer life. The units are mounted on 15-foot metal ornamental poles painted dark green to match the stadium. Spacing is 60 feet on center.

Two pedestrian bridges link the plaza area with the outlying parking lots on the other side of the Menomonee River. To maintain a consistent look, Harp Series luminaires were mounted on 11-foot poles along the bridges’ four-foot walls. Illumination levels on the walkways and the two bridges average 2 footcandles, with a minimum of .9 footcandles.

“The lighting is very uniform, which makes the whole facility seem brighter,” said Sadowski. “Vertical illumination levels are high enough that people can recognize other people’s faces from a significant distance.”

Esplanade® luminaires from Holophane illuminate the stadium parking lots, which are separated by the river and highway system roadways. One of the challenges in designing the lighting system was placing the poles so they would not interfere with or block any of the parking spaces. The lots are used to park both cars and buses, with the vehicles double stacked.

The Esplanade units are mounted on 40-foot concrete poles located throughout the parking lots. The luminaires use 400-watt metal halide lamps, with illumination levels averaging 2 footcandles.

“Tailgating is very popular on game nights,” said Cooper. “The Esplanades have helped create an atmosphere that is conducive to this activity. The parking lots look more like a park than a place to line up vehicles.” Photometric performance was a high priority to minimize the number of lighting units needed and to keep the site lighting and electrical work within budget.

“The Harp and Esplanade luminaires have helped make Miller Park a fan-friendly facility,” Sadowski concluded. “The difference between the old county stadium and the new park is like night and day.”




 

 
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