As the world of sports continues to evolve, a positive trend we’re beginning to notice is what’s called the “greening” of sports — or, sustainable sports.
The US sports industry is huge. Just how huge? It’s estimated that the top 200 stadiums in the US bring in nearly 181 million visitors every year. These massive amounts of visitors create equally massive amounts of environmental issues in these stadiums, but they also create opportunities for new environmental stewardship as well.
What are some things arenas around the country have been doing to go green? Since 2013, 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines have generated power at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. As a part of their 10-year greening plan, Lincoln Financial Field has really led the way with greening initiatives in sports complexes. A sign at the stadium reads, “The only water we waste here is sweat.”
Home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the MLS’s Seattle Sounders, CenturyLink stadium has 3,750 solar panels across 2.5 acres helping to power their events. MLB’s Minnesota’s Twins play at Target Field, which collects rainwater for use in washing down the seating area. The Miami Heat (NBA) play at AmericanAirlines Arena. Its reflective roof and underground parking are designed to beat the heat and cut energy costs.
Even NASCAR has gotten in on the greening of sports. NASCAR’s “NASCAR Green” program includes tire recycling and, since 2011, uses fuel it says produces less carbon emissions. NASCAR claims to have planted 8,000 trees in 2013 to offset carbon emissions. In Pennsylvania, Pocono Raceway now has 40,000 solar panels powering racing events.
The Waste Management group thinks that new sports arenas built from now on should be focused on improving the “triple bottom line” (people, planet, profit). The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Building Certification is becoming increasingly important as new arenas and sports complexes are being constructed around the country.
“MLB’s Washington Nationals Park was the first stadium to achieve certification for LEED New Construction in 2008, and facilities across the country are certifying buildings” an article by Waste Management writes.
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Safe, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. That’s what we’re all about.
Let’s green our sports. Together.