test
Monthly Archives: March 2017

Atlanta’s New NFL Stadium Is Raising The Bar For Everybody Else

Huffington Post
By Houston Barber

atlantafalcons.com

atlantafalcons.com

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a behemoth, located delicately in the center of downtown Atlanta between skyscrapers, public parks, and thousands of homes. Huge, triangular glass panes make up the outer walls of the $1.5 billion structure and reflect a diverse city that is hosting three professional stadium projects completing in the span of a year (the Braves open their new ballpark in April and the Hawks are planning a massive renovation ready for next season).

In 2017, sports stadiums have become the source of increasing public criticism. Debate has raged on the ethics of billionaire owners threatening their hometown with relocating in exchange for hundreds of millions in stadium funding. Studies, such as the one done by Stanford’s Roger Noll, have created doubt as to how much value a stadium truly adds to a community. So how does a modern mega sports complex answer these questions? Can a billion dollar stadium give back as much as it takes? It’s a question that needs to be answered, and perhaps Atlanta’s Arthur Blank is the one to do it.

The decision to build a new NFL stadium in Atlanta was not without controversy. The former Georiga Dome was built in 1992 and was only 18 years old when plans were announced for its replacement. Negotiations between Blank and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed were productive and no shakedown occurred, but that didn’t prevent critics from balking at the $200 million of public money that was spent on what might not be the most necessary of stadium projects. What the critics didn’t know at the time was just what Blank had up his sleeve; a vision to transform what a stadium could do to a surrounding community, and an ambitious quest to build the most environmentally friendly NFL stadium ever.

To truly understand what this stadium is, you have to understand its surroundings. Mercedes-Benz Stadium sits on the edge of Atlanta’s Westside, a fraught neighborhood that has seen the raw end of real estate deals in the past. When heavy storms roll through the city, rain water tends to overwhelm the sewer system and funnel into the neighborhoods in the Westside. The result is heavy flood damage that never gets repaired. It’s been an issue largely ignored for decades, but Blank and his team developed a plan to use the stadium to alleviate the problem. In the early stages of construction, a 1.1 million gallon storm vault was implemented to catch rainwater. That harvested water will be used for irrigation and the stadium’s cooling system. It’s not a cure-all, but it’s an example of a new kind of awareness in stadium engineering that Mercedes-Benz Stadium hopes to pioneer.

Read the full story here.

NHL, Green Sports Alliance Making Impact

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

2017.03.16-NewsFeed-NHL & Alliance Op Ed-IMAGE

On a personal level, Green Sports Alliance Executive Director Justin J. Zeulner has a 12-year-old daughter who as a figure skater spends hours in community facilities. With thousands of people interacting on a sheet of ice on a monthly basis, Zeulner sees first-hand the importance of what the NHL has helped accomplish since becoming a member of the Alliance in June 2011.

The Alliance promotes healthy, sustainable communities and inspires sports leagues, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace energy and water efficiency. To have the NHL and its teams involved has taken the cause to new levels.

“The opportunity for the NHL to support the further development of new buildings and renovations of existing buildings, to make sure these community centers are sustainable economically and financially is extremely important,” Zeulner said. “The future generation of athletes, whether they’re figure skaters or hockey players, requires some bold leadership. And the NHL is paving the way.”

The League has accomplished plenty with NHL Green, its sustainability initiative committed to improving hockey’s environmental impact, and the launch of Greener Week in 2016, which focuses on working with community rinks in North America to measure and evaluate the environmental impact of the greater hockey community.

NHL arenas are using alternative, more environmentally-friendly energy sources. The 2016 and 2017 NHL All-Star Games each were played under LED game light technology that reduced glare, improved game presentation and visibility for players, and reduced energy usage. The NHL also is the first professional sports league in North America to issue a sustainability report, documenting and disclosing its carbon footprint.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was honored with the Alliance’s highest recognition, the Environmental Leadership Award, for the work the League and NHL Green has done with teams and arenas. As a result, Zeulner said, all private sector businesses put together sustainability reports in their filings every year.

“What that inspires is incredible,” Zeulner said. “All sports, whether it’s the private sector side or it’s the sports teams themselves and the leagues and the venues they play in, everybody should be measuring and reporting on their impacts. Once you do that, you start to set the bar and of course you want to get better every year. That’s really what we’re all about, is playing greener. That was the first major milestone from a league perspective to issue that report. We supported and aided in putting that together.”

Zeulner’s vision is to further engage fans, get them involved and keep the movement going. The League has done its part; the NHL is the 26th largest user of green power in the U.S., according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, and the only sports league to appear on the Top 100 list.

“Imagine if all sports participated in the support and the advancement of renewal power in North America? The NHL has already proven that’s possible,” Zeulner said. “What can be inspired by being one of the largest users of green power in the U.S. is astonishing. So we’re looking to see if all sport can join the NHL and their leadership in this space to advance that here in the United States.”

Read the full story here.

LA Kings Green: Team Launches Sustainable Initiatives

by LA Kings PR @LAKingsPR / LAKings.com

2017.03.16-NewsFeed-NHL Green LA Kings-IMAGE

The LA Kings today announced their latest initiative: LA Kings Green, an umbrella program to encompass the team’s sustainable initiatives.

In recognition that environmental issues directly impact hockey, a sport that is often learned atop of frozen ponds, LA Kings Green aims to bring more awareness to the most critical environmental issues and will continue to drive positive impact through arena operations as well as fan and community engagement.

In collaboration with AEG 1EARTH, AEG’s corporate-wide sustainability program, LA Kings Green addresses a wide-range of sustainability-related topics. The focus of Kings Green is threefold:

  • Arena Operations: Regular upgrades to the facility to improve its efficiency and maintain STAPLES Center’s status as an industry leader in sustainable practices.
  • Fan Engagement: Positive, actionable information learned at STAPLES Center and on the LA Kings website to apply at home.
  • Community Engagement: Practical opportunities for fans to reduce their environmental footprint through community service events.

“We’re always looking for more ways to enhance fan engagement and the game-day experience. STAPLES Center prioritizes environmental sustainability: This is an ISO-14001-certified building, has had array of rooftop solar panels since 2009, was the first US NHL arena to install LED sports lights, and, most recently, Former Vice President Al Gore and other dignitaries helped us celebrate the installation of our new 500-kilowatt Bloom Energy fuel cell, which will further help reduce the arena’s carbon footprint,” said Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE. “We’re excited to support the LA Kings with the launch of their new sustainability initiative, Kings Green. This program will add significant value to communicating environmental best practices to our guests.”

Read the full story here.

Welcome to the Green Sports Alliance News Feed & Blog. We do our best to keep up with new and noteworthy stories in the world of green sports, but if we've missed something, please drop us a line and let us know! Use the search function below or click through our archive to find past postings.
SPORTS MEMBERS INCLUDE...
410
TOTAL SPORTS MEMBERS
197
TEAMS
196
VENUES
17
LEAGUES