As the 2009 MLB season has just begun and the NBA and NHL is wrapping up with the NFL waiting on the sidelines to begin, we have taken a look at sports venues in North America that are scoring big on and off the field in terms of sustainability and eco-awareness.
New York Mets, Citi FieldThe brand new ballpark is opening this spring to great acclaim. While that other team in New York seems to have limited its green efforts to trash talk, fans of the planet can’t help but be excited about Citi Field’s eco-credibility: built of 95 percent recycled steel, it features energy-efficient field lighting, waterless urinals, and a green roof. Even its 42,000 seats are a coincidental green hue. The club is encouraging employees to bike to work, and hopes that fans will take public transportation to the games.
Washington Nationals StadiumWhile the Mets debut their new stadium this year, last spring’s big debut happened farther south. The Washington Nationals tacked on $2 million to a nearly $700 million price tag in order to add features that earned this stadium a LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council—the first in the country to do so. From an in-house recycling center to a wastewater system designed to filter out peanut shells and hotdog bits, this DC team thought of everything.
Philadelphia Eagles, NovaCare ComplexIt seems only fitting that a stadium that sounds like a medical facility is proving to be a shot in the arm for greening operations everywhere. The Eagles launched an organization-wide program called Go Green in 2003, and today the team powers its facilities with clean energy, uses corn-plastic dishes and utensils, and encourages fans to offset their game-day travel. Offshoot projects include Eagles Forest in nearby Neshaminy State Park and a calendar of cheerleaders wearing bikini made from eco-friendly materials—printed on recycled paper, of course.
Minnesota Twins, Target FieldNow under construction, this Minneapolis landmark is scheduled to open in 2010. Like the Nationals, the Twins are committed to achieving a LEED rating, and coughing up $2.5 million extra to do so (even if management has been thrifty with spending for free agent players). Green building features include such basics as low-VOC carpets and paints, and the club is using local building materials. But more important may be the site itself which sits right downtown. Reinventing a plot in the city’s warehouse district, the Twins are creating an attraction that will be accessible to thousands of local fans by foot, bike, bus and train..
Orlando Magic, Orlando Events CenterIn another example of smart city planning, the Orlando Magic are building a multi-purpose events center in a downtown location—and keeping local needs top of mind. The team has hired local companies, will use native landscaping, and even considered the neighborhood’s identity in the stadium’s design. It’s also incorporating water and energy efficiency and other sustainable elements. When the facility opens in 2010, it will be “one of the greenest sports arenas in the country,” according to press materials. Meanwhile, the Magic has kicked off a company-wide greening initiative, including a recycling effort at its current home, Amway Arena.