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Fighting Climate Change Should Make Americans Come Together to Find Solutions

By Brent Suter, Fast Company

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brent Suter knows sports can unite us – climate change should do the same thing.

[Photo: Austin Chan/Unsplash]

[Photo: Austin Chan/Unsplash]

Baseball is America’s pastime. It’s part of our identity and our culture. Americans love the sport, and the national camaraderie the comes with it, while rooting for their favorite team. That’s why I was proud to pitch for the 2018 National League Central Division Champion Milwaukee Brewers this year. I saw how my city of Milwaukee came together to cheer us on towards our goal of the World Series. And while we lost our bid for the series, there’s a bigger test ahead for us. It requires that we come together, just like we do with sports, to address the very real threats from climate change.
These threats are impacting every community, including mine. In playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, I represent a city with a strong heritage in the beer industry. But get this, climate change is now going to impact beer as well. Recently, a new study noted that drought, heatwaves, and extreme weather associated with climate change will drastically reduce crop yields of barley, a key ingredient in beer. This is going to double the price of beer for consumers and have a huge impact on my city’s beer industry. But this isn’t the only climate change impact that Milwaukee and Wisconsin are facing.
Flooding is on the rise throughout our entire state due to torrential rains, threatening our neighborhoods and infrastructure.These threats are becoming more frequent and formidable for all of America, not just Milwaukee. Earlier this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we’ve got only 12 years to avert total climate catastrophe. And each week, it seems, new scientific and economic reports highlight the growing threats to industries and regions from climate change. Amidst these dire reports, communities around the country continue to bear the brunt of climate change in the form of hurricanes, storm surges, wild fires, and flooding.

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.

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