Greetings from Super Bowl City in the Embarcadero in the heart of San Francisco! GreenSportsBlog will be reporting all week from the epicenter of all things Super Bowl on the sustainability aspects of the Greenest Super Bowl ever.
When one thinks of “Super Bowl” great moments, the mind thinks in terms of Roman Numerals: Broadway Joe’s “The Jets Are Gonna Win the Game” Guarantee* in III, Lynn Swann’s acrobatic catch for the Steelers in X, Montana’s drive for the Niners in XXIII, Tyree’s catch against his helmet for the Giants to deny the Pats an undefeated season in XLVII, and many others.
We don’t know if Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos^ at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara will be among the all-time greats, but we do know two things that will make it unique:
- It is the first Super Bowl ever to NOT use the aforementioned Roman Numerals–this is Super Bowl 50, not Super Bowl L**.
- It will be the most sustainable, the Greenest ever.
GreenSportsBlog is on the ground in San Francisco to report on the latter point–the green, sustainability angles.
Now, you may ask, “Why is GreenSportsBlog in San Francisco if the game is in Santa Clara?” The answer is this is the Bay Area Super Bowl 50. So, while the game is at Levi’s Stadium, the new LEED Gold certified home of the 49ers, the majority of the activities around the Super Bowl this week are taking place in San Francisco at Super Bowl City Presented by Verizon in the Embarcadero district down by the Bay.
It became immediately apparent during my first visit to Super Bowl City–which is projected to draw 1 million people during its 9-day run–on a sunny Sunday afternoon that sustainability/green is deeply embedded into the fabric of virtually all of the goings on there:
- Volunteers from the Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee (HC), seeded throughout Super Bowl City, ask fans if they took mass transit to get there. A yes answer prompts the volunteer to help enter them via mobile device into the Play Your Part (#PlayYourPart) program. The fan is entered into a sweepstakes–Grand Prize is 2 tickets to the game. S/he also gets 50 “GoldCoins” to distribute to one of 4 Bay Area Green Charities–those GoldCoins are then turned into actual dollars–$200,000 to be exact–by the 50 Fund, the HC’s charitable giving arm. The 4 charities are
- Education Outside, an organization that connects students with nature and healthy food as part of their school day.
- Environmental Volunteers, which provides low-income youth with access to science and environmental education.
- Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, which inspires creativity, and curiosity about the natural world.
- Hunters Point Family Healthy Bayview, a program of community gardens and food education for low-income families.
- Host Committee sponsors, like Hyundai and SAP, are promoting their greenness at their booths/installations. This is done in an organic, not over-the-top way. This was the right way to go to my way of thinking: For fans, the game is clearly the thing, so a sustainability message that acknowledges that fact will be (much) better received than if the fan is beaten over the head with it.
Fans watching Sunday’s Pro Bowl in Super Bowl City on the big screen, sponsored by Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee sponsor SAP and its Fan Energy Zone–implying clean energy. (Photo credit: Lewis Blaustein)
At Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee sponsor Hyundai’s exhibit, the company displays its first-ever Sonata Plug-In Hybrid. (Photo credit: Lewis Blaustein)
- Each day, the Host Committee will make sustainability-themed announcements from the main stage.
We will report on those announcements and the other sustainability-related stories from Super Bowl City, including the fans’ reactions to the greening, throughout the week.