The 4th annual Green Sports Alliance Summit took place this week in Santa Clara, CA, and drew 700+ attendees, including GreenSportsBlog, from all corners of the Green-Sports world. A highlight was a tour of Levi’s Stadium, also located in Santa Clara. It is the new, LEED Gold certified home of the San Francisco 49ers.
I could not stop saying this during a stem-to-stern tour of Levi’s Stadium, the 49’ers’ state-of-the-green-(and every other)-art stadium, led by Pat Rogan, its Director of Engineering Operations. And I was not the only one who was wowed.
Summit attendees were treated to the tour as some finishing touches were being applied to the stadium, which officially opens on August 2nd with a MLS match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders. The 49’ers first regular season game is a Sunday Night affair vs. the Chicago Bears on September 14.
The view from atop Levi’s Stadium, the LEED Gold Certified home of the San Francisco 49’ers. (Photo Credit: Lewis Blaustein)
How green is Levi’s Stadium? Let me count the ways:
- The stadium, which was designed by architects HNTB of Kansas City, MO, will recycle 86 percent of its water. Since California is, of course, in the midst of a now 3-year long (and counting) drought, this aspect of Levi’s Stadium greenness may be the most important of all.
- A 375 kW solar installation, developed by 49ers sponsor NRG, and using SunPower high efficiency panels, will, per Rogan, generate enough electricity in a year to power all of the Niners’ games in a season. The installations are in high visibility spots: On top of three NRG Energy Foot Bridges which take fans from the tailgating areas to the stadium, and on the NRG Terrace atop the stadium.
- A green roof will help insulate the stadium and will grow produce that will be used in the food service.
- Mass transit adjacent to Levi’s makes it accessible to fans from San Francisco, San Jose and other points in the Bay Area.
- 100 percent of the wood used in the Citrix Owners Suites is reclaimed from a local airplane hangar.
- The recycling and composting operation is the most sophisticated I’ve seen at any stadium or arena.
- Stadium concessionaires will offer a wide array of locally-sourced, farm-to-table items.
- The builders used recycled and reclaimed building materials wherever possible.
Pat Rogan, Levi’s Stadium Director of Engineering Operations, explaining to Green Sports Alliance Summit tour-goers how it will recycle 86 percent of its water amidst the pipes that will be doing the recycling. (Photo Credit: Lewis Blaustein)
These reasons and more led the US Green Building Council to give Levi’s Stadium the much-coveted Gold certification, which was announced on Wednesday. My hope is that the greenness of Levi’s Stadium is promoted by the team and league to a wider audience than just those who attend the games. They will have that chance during the regular season and especially during Super Bowl 50 in February, 2016.
Entrance to the Citrix Owners Suites at Levi’s Stadium. 100% of the wood used in the suites is reclaimed. (Photo Credit: Lewis Blaustein)
The 49’ers have been one of the most successful teams on the field, with 5 Super Bowl championships, all since 1980 (as a Jets fan, I have Niners’ envy). Now they have a stadium worthy of their on-field excellence.
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