Over the past five years, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild facility management company, which operates Xcel Energy Center and Saint Paul RiverCentre (including The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium), transformed its operational procedures in order to reduce overall environmental impact. The changes were comprehensive and involved modifications to processes, purchasing decisions and routine operational practices, in addition to upgrading fixtures and equipment. The initiative began with waste reduction and recycling. Then, energy efficiencies and renewable energy technologies were added. Water conservation and environmentally-friendly purchasing efforts completed the plan.
The achievements are the result of an overall goal originally set in 2009 by Saint Paul RiverCentre to become a regional leader in sustainability. When the program began, the annual recycling rate was 15 percent. Today, the entire complex is recycling 60 percent of the two million pounds of waste generated on average each year. These waste reduction and conservation efforts set a new precedent for the green sports movement and will showcase sustainable operations for the millions of fans that visit each year.
As the home of the Velo Sports Center (an indoor velodrome), official training facility of USA Cycling, the venue also engages with community groups working to make the area more bike-friendly, such as the Carson Bicycle Coalition, which hosts biweekly meetings on site. Through this collection of initiatives, StubHub Center continuously works to help its guests and employees find new ways to travel car-free. General Manager Katie Pandolfo notes, “We don’t have the good fortune of being located in an area with a strong alternative transportation infrastructure, but that just means we have to get a little creative and engage with our local partners – both the city and community groups – to come up with solutions.”