How Green Is Your New York (New Jersey) Sports Team: Mets/Citi Field



After a drought in new stadium/arena construction in the New York City area from 1981 to 2007, the 6 years from ’07 to ’12 saw an explosion in new sports palaces.  While none of the 6 stadiums/arenas built in the NYC-NJ area since 2007 were built to LEED standards, I thought it would be interesting to look at each to see how green they are (or aren’t).  Today’s column looks at the 2nd of the 6, Citi Field, home of the New York Mets in Flushing, Queens (click here for Part 1, which examined the greenness–or lack thereof–of Newark’s Prudential Center, home of the NHL’s Devils).

Citi Field, which was built in what was the parking lot of the ballpark it replaced, Shea Stadium, opened in 2009, as did the new Yankee Stadium.  Since the first game at Citi Field, a college baseball game between Georgetown and St. John’s, was played before the first contest at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field gets the #2 designation in this series, with Yankee Stadium to follow.

And, as a diehard, lifelong Yankee-lover/Met-hater, it pains me to say this but Citi Field, from its construction to its operations, is greener than its counterpart in The Bronx.

In fact, while Citi Field did not receive LEED-status (the Good Housekeeping seal of green building) that’s mainly a function of the fact that LEED standards for open air facilities were just being developed when the new ballpark opened.  And while I’m not expert enough in the ways of LEED to know if Citi Field would’ve qualified if the standards were fully formed back in ’09, I do know this–they did a lot of things right, including the use/installation/purchase of:

  • Recycled steel during construction (huge energy saver, both in terms of CO2 emissions avoided in the making of the steel and in its transportation)
  • Recycled waste oil
  • Porous pavement, which prevents storm water run-off and allowed for the planting of trees.
  • Green roof
  • Low flow toilets/waterless urinals
  • Green energy through Renewable Energy Credits (RECS)

The Mets’ greenness didn’t stop with the opening of the ballpark.  They went all-in with composting at all of their restaurants and suites in 2012 and are using green cleaning products throughout the facility.

All in all, Citi Fields stands as an exemplar of sustainable ballpark/arena construction and operations (if not LEED level).  If the Mets could translate their greenness to their on-field performance, they’d actually be worth watching–on days that Matt Harvey isn’t pitching.  OK, I know that’s snarky but, hey, it’s hard for a Yankee fan/Met hater to write an entire pro-Mets column.


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5 thoughts on “How Green Is Your New York (New Jersey) Sports Team: Mets/Citi Field

  1. I’m going to share this news with my METS loving dad.

    The more I read about this, the more I think getting sports fans (music fans, technology fans, etc.) where they live — in their passions — is the way to get the GREEN message out. Maybe one day, we’ll be talking about GREEN tennis fans, GREEN choral music fans, GREEN photography buffs, GREEN scrap bookers and even GREEN Tango dancers?

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