Turfs, Stadiums and Sustainable Technologies - An Amazing Match-up
Last year, the Atlanta Falcons opened their brand-new facility, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The building was constructed with an interest in incorporating renewable and sustainable technologies, including solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle valet services, public walking access to the stadium, and storm water retention facilities. All of these technologies helped the Atlanta stadium to become the first professional sports arena to receive a platinum LEED certification, according to Climate Action.
While there is charm in older stadiums, there is limited ability to upgrade them to take advantage of new renewable and sustainable technologies. The oldest stadiums in the league such as New Era Field (Buffalo, 1973), Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, 1972), and Lambeau Field (Green Bay, 1957) all have gone through renovations to bring infrastructure up to more modern standards, but will never be able to compete with new stadiums being built in 2017 and beyond. However, the cost of constructing a new stadium is also very expensive, and potentially prohibitive for smaller markets such as the ones just mentioned. Recycling, water conservation, and public access upgrades can be incorporated to existing stadiums. Adding solar panels would require a roof or open field area near the stadium – two key aspects that were likely not considered when these stadiums were originally constructed.
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