Sustaining a Super Bowl

Every year there is such buzz over what some call the granddaddy of them all…the Super Bowl. With over 75,000 people filling the street of this year’s site along with endless numbers of media and celebrities how does the NFL claim to make the event “sustainable”? With that question in mind I did some digging and am glad to say that the NFL proved my skepticism wrong.

Outside of managing the sport itself the NFL has many branches (capital improvement, civil rights and social justice, sustainability and youth engagement) to better those communities that host the sport. These ideas ring truer than ever during the Super Bowl. Though all branches are important and play a role in bettering the community’s sustainability will be our focus…. hence why you are reading this blog.

Atlanta’s 2019 Super Bowl Host Committee along with the NFL’s sustainability branch are working to leave a green stamp of approval for the city. Working toward this legacy involves many facets such as: food recovery, urban forestry, recycling and waste management, material recovery as well as renewable energy to power events.

For many food recovery may have surprised you on the above list, but in reality this action plays a large role in sustainability efforts. Serving those in need with food that would have otherwise been thrown out is a way to repurpose perishable goods. This concept goes back to the idea of recycling. We should be looking to reuse items/products that we can. Many of the day to day items that we use end up in a landfill when they should be recycled and reused to produce another. Urban Forestry was highlighted for this year’s Super Bowl by planting flowers, fruits, trees and shrubbery in thirteen different locations within the city center. Efforts were to benefit those that visit public gardens, parks as well as to reinvigorate pollinator populations.

Photo Credit:  Atlanta Eater

Photo Credit: Atlanta Eater

Lastly let’s not forget about the big games event location…. Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This newly built stadium in Atlanta was the first sports arena to achieve LEED platinum. To achieve such a feat the stadium features over 82,500 sq. ft. of LED lighting, consumes 47 percent less water, can store over 2 mil. gallons of storm water to prevent floods as well as having 4,000 solar PV panels. There are many more highlights that I could go on and on about, but I will leave that to you to dive into.

So, no matter if you are a patriots or ram fan, we can agree that putting sustainability on the front page of NFL’s work is a job well done. We will continue to look for the green efforts put forth by the league.