Sports stadiums going green?
By Sarah McBride
Stadium owners dragging their heels on finding greener ways to power up their high-definition scoreboards and retractable roofs just got a kick in the pants from their league commissioners.
Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer have dished out letters to their teams and facilities asking them to embrace solar power.
Sports suck up a lot of energy—but exactly how much is unclear. A spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is working with the professional sports leagues to encourage their teams and stadiums to go green, says offering an estimate “could be premature and misleading, because it varies from team to team, based on size, location/climate, efficiency and type (indoor vs. outdoor) of stadiums.”
Some venues already use solar power. At the Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, solar panels provide around 5% of the venue’s total power. If all arenas and stadiums had solar installations equivalent to Staples, they would reduce carbon emissions by about 86.6 million pounds a year—the equivalent of taking about 8,000 cars off the roads, the NRDC says.
Along with the letter, all teams and venues received a guide prepared jointly by the NRDC and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation that outlines what each stadium needs to do to add on-site solar power generation to its facilities.