Now more than ever, NFL team executives, environmentally conscious contractors, and scientists are teaming up and making plays to cover their carbon footprints and conserve energy. And while football season is rushing into mid-season and tailgaters fire up their electric grills, big ideas in sustainable football stadiums give both fans and football organizations across the country a new reason to profess their love for the game as well as the planet.
Teaming Up: Out of over 100 sports venues from all over the world — from newly built basketball arenas, Bowl stadiums, baseball cathedrals, and soccer pitches in Germany, England, and Australia to name a few — eight NFL stadiums have teamed up with non-profit organization Green Sports Alliance. The alliance's mission is simply put: "to help sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance."
Going Solar: The Jets' and Giants' home turf of MetLife Stadium is crowned with a custom-built ring of NRG solar panels. These 1,500 panels light up in team colors during night games and last year they saved $43,000 in energy costs. MetLife will host this season's Superbowl in 2014, setting a gold standard for high-tech green stadiums on a worldwide scale.
Saving Water: In rainy Seattle, CenturyLink Field and Seattle-based contractors McKinstry came up with an ingenious plan to save water under their Defend Your Turf campaign. According to their infographic, by retrofitting all of the bathroom urinals with ultra-low-flow water fixtures, the stadium saved more 1.3 million gallons of water per year — enough water to turn any football field into a swimming pool.