|See? It's just so pretty!|
Photo Source: http://levisstadium.com/
I was in San Francisco for Super Bowl XLVII; it was devastating. I’ve never seen the city so depressed. There’s hope for 49ers fans, though, as well as a new, shiny stadium. Santa Clara is their new home and, boy is it beautiful. It’s crazy efficient, too! There is a 20,000 square foot green roof… I know, SO cool. The stadium is using reclaimed water for drinkable and irrigation purposes and has incorporated recycled materials into the design. The stadium is also partnering with local vendors to create farm-to-table options for ticket holders. How awesome is that? And in addition to these already ground-breaking inclusions, a local company called SunPower is partnering with the new Levi’s Stadium to supply enough solar panels to produce sufficient electricity to compensate for all the power used for home games each year. True story.
I think (I hope!) the publicity of this installment as well as the one at the Pocono Raceway will help convince solar-naysayers that this great country we live in CAN produce ample amounts of renewable energy and maybe we should start viewing it as a reliable and clean supplier of grid power. I understand there’s a high initial cost, but there are loan and third party programs out there, among others. If solar can be implemented and rewards can be reaped on such a huge scale AND in a setting we all enjoy and support daily as a united community, we should be able to incorporate it on a smaller scale, too, without so much backlash, don’t ya think?
Speaking of renewable energy on a large scale, Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, installed solar way back in 2007 (the stadium was one of the first in the US to do so). The Indians have really been getting after energy savings through green initiatives. The stadium was also the first in the MLB to install a wind turbine. Installed last year, the turbine incorporates LED lights and kiosks for fans to learn about wind energy. See Mom, sporting events can be educational, too! Furthermore, staff attends an annual class about the stadium’s newest green practices, encouraging them to implement their knowledge at home and in their communities. Start on a small scale and cause a chain reaction… I’ve always believed this is the way to get people on board to save the environment!
The Indians also have some great ideas for future projects, which include following in the footsteps of the 49ers and building a green roof. I know I’ll probably be judged and condemned for saying this, but even though popcorn and hotdogs are the staple snack at baseball games, I am a sucker for fruit right off the tree and veggies right out of the ground. I would be more than happy to pay $20 for that and be able to pick it myself IN THE STADIUM than pay that kind of money for some processed meat and watery beer (sorry Keystone and Miller Light lovers! I’m really just not into it. The commercial above is more up my alley.). Want to read more about the Indians and their energy-saving super powers? See pages 69-72.
NHL fans, I have not forgotten about you! Plus, even the NCAA is implementing sustainability programs. The big leagues aren’t the only ones who get to have all the fun! Stay tuned, loyal followers. More energy efficiency in sports to come!