NECA Boston’s Sullivan & McLaughlin installation team outside of Fenway Park.
Boston residents were surprised to see a helicopter hovering over Fenway Park earlier this month. No call for alarm – the whirlybird was onsite to help install new LED lighting* for the ballpark, just in time for the Red Sox' season opener against the Baltimore Orioles. NewsCenter 5 captured the moment.
NECA Boston’s Sullivan & McLaughlin (Sullymac) and IBEW 103 started planning the project in July 2022. While the team worked through the complicated logistics (involving City of Boston permits, public safety, neighborhood impacts, and Fenway event scheduling). Workers began the installation and powering up the new LED fixture drivers at the base of every light-tower, as well as adding fiber optic cable to each tower for the new lighting controls. Once the LED drivers and lighting control systems were set, workers scaled the light-towers to remove nearly 600 antiquated and inefficient fixtures dating back to the days Jim Rice was crushing home runs.
February 5 was “pick day.” Encouraged by clear skies, mild weather with manageable wind. Sullymac teamed up with Clancy Riggers (Boston) and subcontracted with Midwest Helicopter for the lifts.
“Our plan required us to have two light-tower crews that consisted of three electricians, three riggers and one radio person to guide the helicopter and to communicate with the ground crews,” said Sullymac’s John Mclaughlin. “After each tower was complete, the tower crew would leapfrog from tower to tower. Our Ground crew electricians and riggers would receive the cables and attach each pick to the helicopter and assist with refueling.”
A few stiff winds toward the end of the day caused a few complications. Otherwise, everything went according to plan, McLaughlin said. “We landed 28 picks in 8 hours. We had tremendous support from Boston Fire, Boston Police and, of course, the entire Red Sox organization, who handled all security, street closures and crowd control.”
With the lights installed and aimed, Sullymac expects the Fenway job to be 100% complete before the end of February.
*Musco Lighting provided 345 new fixtures, plus 42 color changing lights.