Ways Football Stadiums Are Going Green

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A green football stadium is becoming more popular as new stadiums are being built these days. Some of the key characteristics of these eco stadiums include the use of solar panels and recycling programs. Many stadiums feature a retractable roof like Lucas Oil Stadium where the Super Bowl XLVI will take place in Indiana on February 5, 2012. However, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles boasts a small power plant!

Retractable Roof to Allow Natural Light

Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil StadiumLucas Oil Stadium, location of Super Bowl 46 in 2012 and home of the Indianapolis Colts, features a retractable roof that can close in about 10 minutes. Typically left open during gameplay allows natural light in saving on electricity used by lights. Unless there are hazardous conditions, such as severe winds or lightning, the roof stays open.

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Cowboys Football StadiumCowboys Stadium, location of the 2011 Super Bowl 45, already had a retractable roof in its design before making extra efforts to be a greener stadium. The roof is made out of a translucent material which allows natural lighting to a degree, even if it's shut. 

In addition to the retractable roof, Cowboys Stadium utilizes retractable end zone doors to allow natural ventilation, 30 acres of structured-grass, permeable pavement instead to absorb rainwater run-off, and recycles almost 90% of waste material.

Green Roof

The new eco-friendly football stadium to be the future home of the ​San Francisco 49ers​ will feature a green roof. Hoping to make its debut in 2014, the stadium will also implement a public transportation plan for fans and solar panels into the roof.

Solar Panels Added to Roof

In an effort to offset the electricity use, football stadiums can install solar panels. This could even get into the double digit percentage in savings. Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks, features solar panels.

Philadelphia Eagles' Lincoln Financial Field

Phidelphia Eagles Call Eco-Stadium Home

In addition to 2,500 solar panels, thLincoln Financial Field Stadium has stepped it up with 80 spiral-shaped wind turbines and a cogeneration plant. The cogeneration plant will be onsite and  is a small "dual-fuel" power plant. It is powered by biodiesel and natural gas. 

The Eagles' plan for Lincoln Financial Field represents one of the most extensive renewable energy commitments by any major facility. The energy plan will utilize the most technologically advanced wind turbines and solar panels. With this installation, we anticipate that many businesses will see the benefits of renewable energy and be inspired to emulate the Eagles' bold leadership. – Lee Maher, chairman and CEO of SolarBlue

No more power will be needed from the grid as the stadium will be self-sufficient. And it's estimated the team will save $60 million in energy costs.

San Diego Chargers Gualcomm Stadium New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium New York Jets Meadowlands Stadium

Recycling Initiatives

The San Diego Chargers' ​Qualcomm Stadium features 350 ninety-four gallon recycling bins in their tailgating area.

​Gillette Stadium, ​home of the New England Patriots, collects cans and plastic bottles in solar-powered compactors. They also hand out recycling bags at the parking lot.

​The ​New York Jets' Meadowlands Stadium ​had the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consult on their construction of the stadium in addition to using recycled plastic for their seats.


Football fans can be assured as environmental concerns are considered the new stadiums around the country will be more earth friendly every year. Even with stadiums already existing it's becoming more common for tickets and programs to be printed on recycled material and the use of biodegradable cups. 

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