The Sports World Cares about the Natural One
~ Samantha Lewis
In this football society, everyone seems to be busy painting their faces, screaming at the cameras, and working double-time in order to stand behind their teams in support while crossing their fingers, waiting and hoping that it’s THEIR men who head to Arizona and bring home the Lombardi trophy.
But, there is actually something even greater going on in the football community, and that greatness comes from the new green technology and renewable energy that are becoming number one priorities for all types of sports.
The newest and most impressive football dynasty to take on the ecological issues of the day, and really put their heads together to make not only a fantastic stadium for fans to enjoy, but also a stadium that takes care of the outside world and doesn’t bring any industrial damage to nature, came from the San Francisco 49ers.
Yes, although the 49ers didn’t exactly do well in their new stadium this season, the actual building located in Silicon Valley does offer major pluses when it comes to living the ‘green’ life. A 27,000-square-foot green roof offers forty different species of local vegetation, making the 49ers new home one of the most technologically sophisticated locales ever built. This ‘living roof’ has already become the most amazingly stunning feature of Levi’s Stadium, hosting rivals while also opening them up to the beauty of Northern California culture.
To create this stadium, some of the most wise and creative people came together. Not a shock, considering you’re talking about Silicon Valley here. But every ‘big name’ from Facebook to a variety of well-known tech companies in the area wanted to make the 49ers stadium the best of the best when it came to renewable energy and technology. Completely unlike Jerryworld, which was the latest football stadium to arrive on the map (AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys), San Francisco wanted to focus on helping the natural world, instead of creating another Disney when we already have two.
“State of the art” can be taken in many ways, but there are some who strive to make sure that the ‘art’ part helps the actual ‘state.’ When it comes to the Philadelphia Eagle’s NFL home, Lincoln Financial Field, you are talking about a stadium that is embedded with 11,000 solar panels and 14 micro wind-turbines; together they create the production of more than 3MW of renewable power, making the field the most renewable-energy powered sports stadium across the globe. This is not to be taken lightly. These solar panels cover the stadium parking lots and sections of the roof, as well as one sidewalk pavilion, and a solar wing to produce clean power equivalent to six times the power consumed during a home game.
And when it comes to the home of politics, the Washington Redskins certainly represent renewable energy at their FedExField in Maryland. The entire stadium is powered by a solar PV system capable of generating 2MW of capacity, onsite. And even though Jerryworld is the largest stadium nowadays, this was once the biggest venue that opened in 1997 and was renovated in 2012. These important renovations included adding over 8,000 solar panels, including panels in the parking area, which allowed the stadium to produce over two and half times the power consumed during regular season games.
Although we’ve been speaking about stadiums that are home to the ‘losers’ of the NFL season this year, there is one high on the ‘green’ list that is a definite home to winners, continuous champions, as well as Super Bowl regulars – the New England Patriots. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, offers an onsite solar facility that gives clean power to the entire outdoor shopping and dining center next door, known as ‘Patriot Place’. Made up of both standard and translucent solar panels that cover the outdoor walkways and rooftop of Patriot Place, this is one schematic that helps meet 60% of power needs, while offsetting 800t of carbon emissions. Add in a reflective roof, low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, sealants, energy-efficient lighting, and Energy Star equipment – and you have a stadium worthy of a team that simply cannot lose.
In other words, as you cheer for your team and watch the games, keep in mind that the football world is very much striving to help the natural world as they walk their paths to championship seasons.