Blog Archives

European ‘Green Stadium’ Certification Being Road-tested, from Vienna to Barcelona

By Matthew Campelli, Sport Sustainability Journal

LEED and BREEAM certification have become synonymous with efforts to green sports venues. But a new standard developed in Central Europe is slowly gaining traction.

Both fans and players feel at home at the newly-built, sustainably-focused Generali Arena

Both fans and players feel at home at the newly-built, sustainably-focused Generali Arena

THE 2017/18 SEASON WASN’T A VINTAGE ONE for FK Austria Vienna. A seventh placed-finish (out of 10 teams) and a 4-0 home drubbing at the hands of fierce city rival Rapid is not the kind of return the second most successful club in the country expects.

Red Bull Salzburg may dominate the Austrian Bundesliga – winning eight titles in the last decade – but being 40 points off the pace (and 19 behind Rapid), is unacceptable in the eyes of the fans.

It would be remiss, however, to discuss the club’s poor form without mentioning that for the past two seasons it essentially played every match away from home while its Generali Arena was being rebuilt.

Its temporary home, the 50,000-capacity national stadium named after the legendary coach Ernst Happel, was never a good fit. The biggest crowd last season was just over 15,000 spectators, meaning that it was always at least two-thirds empty. Indeed, of FK Austria Vienna’s 17 victories last season, the majority (nine) came away from home.

So three wins out of three in the newly-built Generali Arena to start the 2018/19 campaign was quite the tonic, providing renewed hope that the team can compete at the top end of the table once again. With a capacity of 13,000, and located in the familiar Viennese district of Favoriten, the new-look venue appears to have made both players and supporters feel at home again.

Read the full article here.

The Ladylike Smell of Victory: Increasing Female Fan Engagement


2018.07.26-Female Fan Engagement-IMAGE

Japanese professional basketball team Alvark Tokyo was having a great season. The team had won their last five games, and had great statistics going into the next round. However, there was one number where Alvark Tokyo was lacking: female fan engagement.

In recent years, most professional sports leagues have reported female fans as one of their largest growing demographics.

 “60% of women report watching sports.”

– TailgatingSportsMarketing.com

But despite female fans’ growing interest in watching live and televised sporting events, most female fans report feeling misunderstood by sports brands and left out in fan engagement strategies.

Recent research has found that there is a difference between male and female sports fans’ motives and definitions of being a fan:

Females reported being fans because they attended and watched sporting events with family and friends while males were more likely to consider themselves fans because they played sports and wanted to acquire sports information.”

– Old Dominion University

Female sports spectators are drawn to the social aspect and fan experience surrounding the game.

Read the full story.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Brings Sustainability to the Forefront of Sports

By Rachel Coon

[Photo: AMBSE]

[Photo: AMBSE]

When Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, and his team of designers envisioned the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, they set out to do what had never been done. “We wanted to redefine the stadium experience,” says Scott Jenkins, who joined the team in 2014 as stadium general manager, just as they broke ground. “Every step of the way, while we were focused on the fan experience, we were also focused on making the venue as environmentally smart as we could,” says Jenkins, a pioneer in the green building movement in sports and chairman of the Green Sports Alliance.

Platinum Performance

The 2 million-square-foot, $1.5 billion project was designed by HOK, who worked with BuroHappold Engineering and Hoberman Associates to complete the stadium in July 2017. Home to the Atlanta Falcons and the new Atlanta United soccer club, Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened its doors to a sell-out crowd of 72,000 for its first soccer match in August 2017. In November 2017, the stadium was awarded LEED Platinum, making it the first professional sports venue in the world to achieve that level. To be LEED certified, a building must acquire 40 points—to reach LEED Platinum, an additional 40 must be acquired. Blank and his team scored 88 points, carefully considering every line item in categories like building materials, energy, water, and site location. Jenkins says, “Our approach was to go after everything.”

Most visibly, the stadium’s sustainability features include 4,000 solar panels placed not on the rooftop but, as part of the aesthetic, at eye level on ticket entryways and parking lot canopies. The panels generate enough energy to power nine Falcons games or 13 United matches. The advanced storm water management program includes an on-site 2.1 million gallon storm water vault, bioswales, and a 680,000-gallon cistern for collecting and reusing rainwater for a cooling tower and irrigation. This combined with water-efficient fixtures resulted in a 47% reduction in domestic water use. Plus, given the stadium’s location west of downtown—where neighborhoods have been plagued by flooding for years—it was important to Blank and his team to reduce the venue’s contribution to local storm events.

Read the full story.

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