Green sports arenas? No, it’s not part of “fantasy” football. It’s the real thing!

Posted: December 6, 2010 in Industry News
Tags: , , , , , ,

For the common sports fan, it’s easy to focus our thoughts on “who’s the most expensive athlete on their payroll?” or “who won the game last week?”

But the Seattle sports world is looking at things a little differently, aiming to change the world one arena at a time.  The big wigs in the Seattle front offices are asking questions more along the lines of “how do we further reduce our carbon footprint this year?” Which, in our books, is a touchdown, home run, or any other sports euphemism you want to throw in.

The Seattle Seahawks organization understands a more unusual need that their fans want filled: sustainability.  As such, the team has created a sustainability department at Qwest Field.  The Seahawks encourage their guests and fans to leave their trash in their seats, for cleaning crews to hand sort the trash from the recycling after each game.

Qwest Field used to generate 20 tons of trash per game, but through its efforts, 13 tons are now diverted from the landfill and successfully recycled.  The stadium also uses specific computer technology to compare outside air temperature and inside air temperature, and determine if air conditioning and heating are necessary (thus seriously streamlining their energy efficiency).

ShoWare Center, home of the Western Hockey League (WHL) Seattle Thunderbirds, has become the first sports arena in North America to become LEED Gold Certified in its green practices.  The team, already managing an $80 million building, noticed that “going green” would only cost an additional $200,000 (a relative drop in the bucket). As a result, the facility uses 508,000 less kilowatt-hours than a standard arena, or the equivalent of 50 homes’ power!

Stadiums around the country are beginning to notice the Seattle sports world’s efforts, and see the city’s stadiums as “best practice companies” to emulate. With this new direction gaining momentum, other teams will not be far behind. Going green will create a better sports experience for everyone, guaranteed…even if a hot dog still costs $6.

-BN with the Roozt team

P.S. Does your hometown team have its own sustainable practices? Let us know!

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