The Greening of Sports Continued…

21 Sep 2010

Photo credit: jpowers65 @ Flickr

As I have posted on here before (The Greening of Sports), a number of professional sports teams are leading the charge on green construction and sustainability.  Earlier this month the trend continued as the nation’s major professional sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL) delivered a letter to their teams encouraging the use of solar power in their facilities.  The leagues also distributed a comprehensive solar development guide outlining the work necessary for each stadium to add on-site solar power generation.

The solar development guide uses the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and the US Airways Center in Phoenix (two leading arenas already taking advantage of solar power) as examples; however, the benefits of solar are not just limited to the Southwest.  The Boston Red Sox installed 28 solar panels at Fenway Park in 2008 which generate 37% of the electricity used to heat water in the park.  Fenway, built in 1912, is a good example of how solar power can augment any facility regardless of age or climate. 

Certainly, the gigantic high-definition scoreboards and monitors, powerful event lighting, and retractable roofs, among other common amenities found in stadiums, consume a great deal of electricity.  Therefore, it only makes sense that stadiums and arenas look for ways to save and offset energy costs.  Clearly, the leagues see the PR value in such a move as well.  

People pay attention when major league sports organizations take action and having the leagues engaged in this manner sends a strong message about the importance of renewable energy.  If the Red Wings do, in fact, build a new arena (which could be home to the Pistons as well), it will be interesting to see whether they employ solar power generation.

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