Pictured: The third-base side at Palmer Field no longer has an obstructed view that came with the old light tower. The new one has been installed behind the grandstand.
MIDDLETOWN – Palmer Field offers the illusion of a much larger space now that the ballpark’s eight light towers originally installed in the 1960s have been replaced.
Nothing’s changed with the diamond, but there are now just seven towers, powered by a modern-day LED system, that are expected to get a dry run in the coming weeks.
The city will save money on future light bills with this system from Musco Lighting, a company based in Iowa that also was hired to design and provide the lighting on display at the Pat Kidney Sports Complex on the other end of town.
The Palmer Field enhancements came with a price tag of nearly $800,000. Coupled with the ballpark’s 2018 renovations to its entryways, the addition of a viewing deck and the replacement of the diamond’s dirt surface, the LED lighting will make Palmer Field truly a modern-day park.
No more obstructed views, either. The new towers are situated behind the grandstands on the first- and third-base sides of the park, and the tower that protruded from within the viewing deck near the left-field corner now stands outside this space.
Middetown Public Works director Bill Russo has said in the past that the last to-do improvement at Palmer Field is to replace the wood-plank bench seating in the grandstand area with individual seats.
The first Palmer Field game of the spring is scheduled for April 6 when Xavier hosts Immaculate (4pm).
The first true night game is scheduled for April 24 at 7pm (Xavier versus Fitch).
The Falcons are scheduled to play nine regular-season games at Palmer Field. Vinal Tech will host three games, and Middletown and Portland two each.
The CIAC championships also return to Palmer Field on June 12-13, with two tournament semifinal games as well.