More Sports Stadiums Wear ‘Green’

May 24, 2013- Sports stadiums across the U.S. are jumping on the green bandwagon – reducing their carbon footprints by installing solar panels, encouraging more recycling and reducing water usage, USA Today reported.

Some of them include:

L    Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. Since January, 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines have been generating power there. The team's 10-year "Go Green" campaign includes reduced water and electrical use, recycled paper products, conversion of cooking oil into biodiesel fuel, a digital version of the cheerleaders calendar and compostable packaging for hot dogs and Philly cheese steaks.

      CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks (NFL) and Seattle Sounders (Major League Soccer), has 3,750 solar panels (2.5 acres) on the roof of an adjacent events center.

      Target Field, home of baseball's Minnesota Twins, collects rainwater for use in washing down the seating area.

      The Miami Heat (National Basketball Association) play at American Airlines Arena. Its reflective roof and underground parking are designed to beat the heat and cut energy costs.

      The stadium under construction for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., will have solar panels and a green roof of soil and plant life covering its tower of luxury suites to provide insulation.

      "Sports matter, and it's a gigantic business," says Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “I work with the St. Louis Cardinals (baseball) at Busch Stadium. They reduced their energy use in the last three years by 24 percent… That gets noticed… The Seattle Mariners (baseball) save over a $1 million a year in reducing their energy costs and their waste costs. That's certainly a good role model for other businesses to emulate.”

      The NRDC issued a report last year titled "Game Changer … How the sports industry is saving the environment." Findings include:

  • Of 126 pro teams in the five major sports, 38 use renewable energy for at least some of their needs and 68 have energy-efficiency programs.
  •  18 venues have installed solar panels.
  • “Virtually all” have or are developing recycling and composting programs. Under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, 15 pro venues have been certified as "green" buildings. The 49ers' new stadium is targeted to open in 2014 with LEED certification.

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