Less than a month ago, the Los Angeles Rams broke ground on their new $2.66 Billion City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood, California. It is being billed as the most expensive stadium ever built, but could it also be the most sustainable? What would the stadium look like if it adopted the best sustainability practices from around the league? Below we look at 5 of the greenest stadiums in the NFL. These teams have built and modified their stadiums, which for the most part remain dormant for 8 months out of the year, to reduce their environmental impact and set an example for other organizations to follow:
Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles) – Home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bleeding Green Nation, the “Linc”, as it is affectionately called was the first NFL stadium to make a serious investment in sustainability. Since it’s opening in 2003, the stadium has dedicated over $100 million in recycling efforts and now 100% of its team operations is powered by wind energy and augmented by solar power that is generated at the stadium. The Linc received its LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in 2013.
Soldier Field (Chicago Bears) – Although it is the NFL’s oldest stadium, Soldier Field continues to set new standards. In 2012, Soldier Field was the first NFL stadium to be awarded a LEED certification. Soldier Field utilizes many energy saving methods including replacing the standard stadium lighting with energy-saving LED lights as well as providing free charging stations for fans who drive electric cars to the game.
MetLife Stadium (New York Giants & New York Jets) – Home to both NY football teams, but located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium signed an agreement with the EPA that states that the facility will work to conserve energy and water, reduce pollution, and improve waste management. Their efforts have resulted in the vast reduction in water consumption and a heat gain of 25%.
Century Link Field (Seattle Seahawks) – Century Link Field’s adoption of point-of-use lighting in concession stands, restrooms, and throughout the stadium has helped to drastically cut down their energy usage. Like Soldier Field, CLF also offers free charging stations for electric cars. And for the rest of the fans, Seahawks’ management encourages the use of public and shared transportation by providing easy and immediate access to local buses, subways, and trains.
M&T Stadium (Baltimore Ravens) – In 2013 M&T Stadium became the first outdoor professional sports facility in the U.S to receive a “Gold” LEED Certification. The stadium uses a green cleaning program to reduce waste, saves over 3 million gallons of water with water-efficient restrooms, and recycles over 30% of their regular waste. M&T Stadium’s sustainability practices have helped them to offset over 120,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and save over 5,000,000 kilowatt-hours since 2005.
Although the Rams have just broken ground in Inglewood, stadiums around the league have already laid the groundwork for what a great sustainable stadium can be. These franchises have shown what it takes to become “green”- no matter what their team colors might be.