ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - Lit up red, white and blue ahead of Tuesday's final game of spring training, fans got their first look at the new LED lights inside Tropicana Field.
"We put this lighting in primarily as a fan experience enhancement to use for non-baseball events," said Brian Auld, the team's president. "It just gives the building more options for lighting in general."
Major League Baseball officials were in town Monday to approve all versions of the Trop's new lighting. One version is the blue uplighting, which was faintly visible during a workout Tuesday. It could improve the contrast between a baseball and the stadium's roof, which should make it easier for players on the field to see high fly balls.
"That's one of the things we're sort of messing around with here at the tail end," said Auld. "If we can figure out a way to do that and do that effectively, then we'll use it for baseball."
"It's just a matter of really seeing how our players feel about it, making sure the other teams feel it's the most playable that it can be as well."
Tuesday, the new lights were still being tested as the Rays and stadium crews readied themselves for Opening Day against the Astros Thursday.
"We're going to use this lighting, and it can be multiple colors and all kinds of ways as the season goes on," said Auld. "On July 4th, you may see it lit up red, white and blue. Halloween, orange and black."
The new lights definitely brighten up the inside of Trop immensely. Fans will notice that off the bat.
"We, I believe, have the opportunity to explore a couple of things, see what works best for all teams playing here," continued Auld. "In the event that there's an improvement that can be made for everybody, we expect that MLB will go along with it. Obviously, there's a lot of approvals that have to come. Regardless, again, we're going to have the best lighting we've ever had out here."