There’s No Offseason In The NFL–And That Goes For Green News Too

It is often said there is no offseason in the NFL. The insanely huge ratings for the recent NFL Draft and the copious media attention given to “Organized Team Activities”, or OTAs–glorified offseason workouts that, for many teams, start today–are but two examples. NFL news with a green tint doesn’t seem to take a break, either–and that’s a good thing.

Over the last 10 days, media outlets large and small, left and right, have reported on green goings on in the NFL. This is heartening because anything NFL-related seems to explode in coverage and awareness.

The Wall Street Journal ran an in-depth account by Jim Carlton about the 49’ers new Santa Clara-based Levi’s Stadium, set to open for play this September. With the league’s first green roof, on site solar and drought tolerant Bandera Bermuda grass, which uses half the water of typical sports turf used in the Bay Area, 49’ers ownership expects the stadium to follow the lead of France’s Allianz Riviera Stadium and become “net energy neutral” (generates all the energy it needs) for the team’s 10+ home games. The NFL has certainly noticed, awarding Super Bowl L in 2016 to the Niners and its new green stadium. Way before that, the Green Sports Alliance, the sustainability trade group among pro and college sports entities, will be hosting its 4th annual Summit at Levi’s Stadium this July. GreenSportsBlog will be reporting from the Summit and will give you a first hand look at the Niners’ new green digs.

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Artist’s rendering of the green roof at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, soon-to-open home of the NFL’s 49’ers. It will be the first-ever green roof at an NFL stadium (Credit:

The Daily Kos, Journal’s idealogical opposite, also weighed in on Levi’s Stadium. While skepticism/snarkiness might have been expected, this piece was very bullish on the stadium’s greenness. OK, there was one snarky line: “A green NFL team? Seems like one of those oxymorons like military intelligence. But on some levels, in this case it might be true.” But, overall, the story was super positive. If the Daily Kos and the Wall Street Journal are on the same side of a climate issue, maybe that’s a sign that solving the climate crisis is not that far away. Maybe that means the Jets will win the Super Bowl??

OK, back on Planet Earth, and per Energy Manager Today, NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, received permission to install solar panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and energy-efficient LED lighting. In fact, it will be the first NFL stadium with LEDs on the field, a big advance. NRG, the nation’s 2nd largest generator of electricity, has made a huge bet on solar and the NFL. They’ve developed on-site solar at at least 8 NFL stadiums, including Levi’s Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field.

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