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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.

Green Sports Day: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Located in the footprint of the former Georgia Dome just north of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, this 11-acre site was redeveloped to provide a community gathering space for stadium event days as well as non-event days. The natural turf field will accommodate a mix of uses such as multi-sport recreation or 500 tailgate parking spaces for NFL and MLS games. The Home Depot Backyard also provides flexible fan activation areas, gathering places, kid zone playgrounds, and facilitates pedestrian circulation to the stadium.

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Developed by the University of Georgia, TIFTUF is a new selection of hybrid Bermuda grass proven to be drought tolerant and fast growing. This natural turf enhances the area from what was previously an impervious site – providing benefits to stormwater runoff and urban heat island effect. Irrigation for the field is provided by the rainwater reuse system at the LEED-Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium, specifically the 680,000-gallon cistern, with backup provided by well water. The grass field and permeable paver hardscape includes stone storage underneath for drainage as well as stormwater management. Material from the Georgia Dome demolition was crushed and left onsite for reuse.

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Design challenges include the specification of a sub-base, root zone, and soil mixture to promote vigorous grass growth needed to accommodate vehicular use on the field. In addition, consideration for the concrete demolition debris left in place required extensive cross-discipline and contractor coordination. Vertical circulation for the site, which is lower than the surrounding streets and stadium, was provided in a variety of modes including ramps and stairs that can be activated during events.

This project involved many stakeholders including the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, adjacent neighborhoods, the City of Atlanta, and Georgia Department of Transportation. The design and construction team included Darden & Company, HOK, Tvsdesign, Kimley-Horn, FTE, ICS, the University of Georgia and Holder, Hunt, Russell, Moody JV.

The Ladylike Smell of Victory: Increasing Female Fan Engagement

Prolitec

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.

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