News and Notes

Green Sports News And Notes: Dog Days of August Edition


Before you head off on your Summer Friday, here’s a smattering of Green-Sports news from around the globe!



NYCFC, the new MLS team that will begin play at Yankee Stadium next spring, announced recently that it signed a landmark 5 year deal with Nissan to be its Official Electric Vehicle sponsor. I use the term “landmark” because this deal 1) is a prime example of how sports teams can generate new revenue through green partnerships, 2) demonstrates that EV sponsorships are not simply a Bay Area-Pacific Northwest type of thing, and 3) that an EV infrastructure is on its way to New York City sooner rather than later.

The agreement is part of a larger partnership between Nissan (all vehicles, not just EVs) and City Football Group, the organization that owns NYCFC (along with the Yankees, which has 25% of the club), Manchester City, 2013-2014 champions of the English Premier League, Yokohama F*Marinos in Japan and Melbourne City in Australia.

NYCFC will use Nissan EVs, including the Leaf and perhaps others, for Club operations. As of now there are no EV charging stations at Yankee Stadium but that may change. NYCFC is planning to build its own stadium, complete with EV charging stations, in New York City in the next 3-5 years (specific location TBD). Hat tip to GreenSportsBlog reader Steve Kelly of KPTR Radio in Palm Springs, CA for the scoop on this story.


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The 2015 Nissan Leaf. Nissan recently signed a 5-year deal as the Electric Vehicle sponsor of NYCFC, the MLS expansion team to begin play at Yankee Stadium next spring. (Photo Credit:



The recent World Cup in Brazil was a phenomenal success on the pitch and was not disrupted by “Occupy-style” protests, as feared by FIFA and local organizers. But, from a sustainability point of view, the score was mixed, as documented by GreenSportsBlog: Recife’s stadium featured a massive solar installation, but several stadia were built in remote locations, most notably the one in Manaus. When one adds in the concerns about the lack of promised infrastructure and education spending in favor of huge investments in World Cup venues, it’s easy to see how many will see Brazil 2014’s sustainability legacy as being negative.

As Lee Corso of ESPN’s College (American) Football Gameday is wont to say: “Not so fast!”

Now comes a much more positive report from Sustainable Cities Collective regarding the southernmost World Cup venue in Brazil, Porto Alegre, a city of 1.5 million people near the Uruguay border. The story takes a very detailed, yet broad look at the sustainability-related effects of hosting the event. Highlights include investments in:

  • Fourteen (14) major transportation public works have been developed in different regions that will dramatically change traffic patterns in ways that will reduce idling and fuel use.
  • Public spaces for sports and recreation
  • STEM, environmental and communications education

The Brazil 2014 sustainability report card is now firmly in the mixed column. Let’s hope that Russia 2018 heeds the examples of Recife and Porto Alegre rather than Manaus. I can’t say I’m holding my breath.


Beira-Rio Stadium, Porto Alegre
Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil used as a World Cup venue. The city realized significant sustainability benefits hosting World Cup matches, both from environmental and societal points of view. (Photo Credit:



I gotta admit, I barely followed this year’s Tour de France: PED fatigue combined with World Cup overload meant I just couldn’t find my way to NBCSN’s coverage. But this story about the difficulty finding “sustainable and ethical cycling gear” from Leah Borromeo of The Guardian’s “Sustainable Fashion Blog” desk did catch my eye.

While cycling is an inherently green activity (riding a bike emits around 21g of CO2 per km. An average car spits out 271g.), the clothes and accessories that go along with it are, for the most part, not. It is changing on the fringes, as companies like Abus and its Ecolution helmet, made from recycled cardboard, and saddle maker Brooks, with its rubber-and-cotton-based Cambium.

But performance wins out over sustainability every time (duh!) so the key for these cycling related companies is to blend function with green form, at a comparable price. As a cyclist–and one who is in need of a new cycling shirt–I will be on the lookout for green equipment options.


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