Under the lights; Marcusen may be first ballpark in state to switch to LED

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The future is bright at Austin’s Marcusen Park.

That’s because Marcusen is slated to move ahead with a $177,457 project to convert Marcusen to LED lights and to replace the public address system.

Austin Park and Recreation Director Kim Underwood said the LED lights should be a first for a community park in Minnesota, which she learned from Musco Sports Lighting.

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“This should be the first baseball field that has LED in Minnesota,” Underwood said.

The Hormel Foundation is contributing $120,800 to the project. The Austin Park Board and City Council both approved the plan, as Park and Rec owns the facility.

The city council also agreed to give a $56,657 loan to the Marcusen Association. The association will launch a fundraising campaign to pay back the city.

While Marcusen may be Minnesota’s first community baseball field to get LED lights, Musco is working on a Little League field and a few soccer fields in the Twin Cities already have LED lights.

Musco would like to install the lights before the season and before the frost is out of the ground, but the new fixtures were expected to take about four weeks to arrive.

They’ll use the existing poles but replace the fixtures.

Underwood said the LED lights should produce nice, clean light and be more environmentally friendly. It will hopefully cut down on the energy usage at the field, and the LED lights should also last longer.