Two local companies coordinate the design, supply, and installment of all the field lighting for AutoZone Park, home of the AAA Memphis Redbirds.

It's no wonder AutoZone Park, the home of the AAA Memphis Redbirds, is getting so much attention lately. This state-of-the-art facility represents a major addition to Memphis, Tenn.'s growing downtown, and it has received rave reviews from both fans and players since its opening last spring. This major hometown project also represents a significant partnership between several local companies that designed and installed the lighting system at the park.

Memphis-based Thomas & Betts Corp., a manufacturer and supplier of connectors and components for the worldwide electrical and electronics markets, designed, manufactured, preassembled, and tested the outfield sports lighting system for the stadium. The company worked closely with another local firm, TAM Electric Co., to facilitate the onsite assembly and installation of the outfield lighting system. With 556 individual floodlights, the system supplies an infield lighting level in excess of 250 footcandles and an outfield level of more than 200 footcandles.

Special sport reflectors that use single-end metal-halide lamps ensure a very narrow beam spread, while the interior coating minimizes spill light.

"In a large sports facility like AutoZone Park, where you're aiming light from as far away as 250 ft, maximum beam control is critical," says R. Keith Booker, lighting applications manager at Thomas & Betts. "Our new reflector and interior finish allow light to be focused on the playing field with significantly improved precision and efficiency."

AutoZone's extensive sports lighting system includes four freestanding steel poles that support three service baskets for up to 72 floodlights per pole. These 130-ft towers, specially designed to sway in an earthquake or high wind, weigh about 35,000 lb each when fully assembled. The companies installed additional sports lighting at three points on the grandstands and at one point on the adjacent Toyota Center office building - for a total of eight field-lighting sources.

Thomas & Betts also supplied all exit lighting and datacom materials for the ballpark, as well as most rough-in electrical products, such as fittings, metallic boxes, conduit hangers, and about 1800 ft of cable tray.

With these new installments, the new lighting levels at the facility exceed even Major-League requirements.