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Opinion: MLBs most energy, environment, and climate conscious players

EnergiNews
By Matt Chester
This article was published by the Chester Energy and Policy blog on July 9, 2018.

Matt Chester assembles an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change.

Sports can be the ultimate awareness raiser for climate issues

Baseball’s Midsummer Classic is just around the corner, where fans, players, and coaches all vote on which players will play in the All-Star Game based on their performance during the first half of the season.

This year’s game is hosted in Washington, D.C, both home of the first Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium ever to be certified as LEED Silver and also epicentre of U.S. politicians debating the green issues of the day.

As such, I thought it appropriate to assemble an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change– the Green All-Star Game, if you will.

Why do this?
Lew Blaustein of the GreenSportsBlog does a great job explaining that bringing awareness to green issues is the most critical action athletes, teams, and leagues can do with their platform.

Athletes especially can educate the public and make environmental issues relevant to new audiences. The world of sports already takes pride in charitable work, including such high-profile partnerships as the NFL integrating pink into its colour schemes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Among MLB players, the most commonly supported charities include children’s hospitals, fighting poverty, cancer research, and more.

Obviously, these charities are more than deserving causes, but surely there is also room for athletes focusing on climate change and the clean energy transition.

Baseball players are especially great for these endeavours because they are exceedingly marketable given their faces are not obscured by helmets like football or hockey players, they have long-lasting careers, and baseball forever has a place in the social sphere as America’s Game.

Not only that, but baseball players have many reasons to advocate for the environment and fight against climate change.

For one, the effects of climate change are most immediate and dangerous to islands and nations in the Caribbean, and MLB rosters feature a significant number of players from vulnerable communities— notably the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and more.

And if not for altruistic reason, baseball players might even seek to support green causes so climate change doesn’t alter the number of home runs or the hit-by-pitch count in baseball (note– I know there’s no real evidence of these effects, this is said tongue-in-cheek– put away the pitchforks).

Who makes the cut?
With all that said, the search begins for MLB players who have publicly championed green causes– whether that means renewable energy technologies, environmental causes, or fighting climate change.

Read the full story.

Boomtime for Atlanta Sports Venues

By PanStadia & Arena Management

2018.07.19-Boomtime for Atlana sports-IMAGE

Atlanta is booming as a sports destination with a stunning new NFL stadium and baseball park already in operation, while a redeveloped NBA arena is set to open this autumn.

And the city hosted two major conferences this week, with hundreds of delegates attending the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD) annual event and the Green Sports Alliance Summit.

Delegates at the ALSD’s Design & Build Forum heard how the Philips Arena is undergoing major renovations to turn it into a fabulous new venue for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Brett Stefansson, executive vice president and general manager, Philips Arena explained how the venue is being transformed.

“The arena opened back in 1999 and at the architect at the time thought it was a great idea to build what was essentially a giant wall of suites on one side of the building with premium seats down below that. It was innovative at the time, but doesn’t really fit with what today’s fans want from their experience.”

Steffanson said the ownership team looked into knocking the venue down and building a new one, but that it made a lot more financial sense to to go through a three-phase renovation project. He said:

“Phase One was a complete shut-down last summer and we did about $20 million worth of work. Phase Two was during the past season when we did another $20 million worth of work. We’re currently in Phase 3, which is $100 million worth of work and we’re currently shut down for the entire summer. We shut down in April and the building will come back over to us on October 16.

The overall project is a $200 million renovation involving gutting the entire building and building it back up. It’s a focus on technology, food & beverage and re-imaginging the fan experience.”

Read the full article here.

Astros Blazing a Trail on Earth Day

By Brian McTaggart, MLB.com

The Astros joined the rest of baseball in celebrating Earth Day on Sunday, and the club boasts a variety of green initiatives, including LED lighting at Minute Maid Park.

Major League Baseball was the first professional sports league to have all of its teams as members of the Green Sports Alliance, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities in sports. In fact, MLB clubs diverted more than 20,000 tons of recycled or composted waste during the 2017 season.

The Astros have retrofitted light fixtures in their front-office spaces and converted center-field lighting to LED. They also provide single-stream recycling opportunities for fans and engage in cardboard, pallet and electronic recycling — maintaining a 5-percent increase in their diversion rate each year.

What’s more, the Astros and Nationals are currently pursuing LEED Silver certification at their Spring Training facility, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications are given to buildings that meet strict guidelines for environmental responsibility by using less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read full article here.

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