News and Notes

Green Sports News And Notes: Hockey Again Leads The Way


I thought about doing an early-season* “Who’s Having A Better Season: Gang Green or The Green Movement” column today but, after San Diego 31 Jets 0, the bar for the Green Movement to overcome would be so low as to be meaningless.

Luckily for you, dear reader, instead we’re bringing you a Jets-angst-free “news and notes” post.



The NHL, whose 2014-2015 regular season faces off this week, has been a beacon of Greenness among the American professional sports leagues.

Its Gallons For Goals program (restoring water to drying lakes and streams, amount based on the number of goals scored) was a breakthrough when it launched in 2012. Its sustainability report, issued this summer, is a substantive work that is the first of its kind for any North American pro league. Prominent players like Hall of Famer Scott Niedermeyer and Andrew Ference have become outspoken “eco-athletes.”

When one considers that many hockey players from Canada and the northern US got their starts playing outdoors, on frozen ponds, it’s not surprising that pond hockey-threatening climate change would resonate with the NHL and its players.

Now the Greening of Hockey has migrated from the NHL to the minor leagues. Citizens Business Bank Arena, the 11,000 seat home of the ECHL’s Ontario (CA) Reign became, on October 1, the first professional hockey facility at any level to use recycled water. The project is a partnership between AEG Facilities (which owns/manages the arena), the City of Ontario and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, which is providing the recycled water.  Combined with the savings from a recent project to operate Citizens Business Bank Arena’s cooling towers using recycled water, both efforts together could save an estimated 5 million gallons of potable water each year.

Given the massive, multi-year drought facing much of California, the water conservation measures put into place by the Reign (aptly named, don’t you think?) and Citizens Business Bank Arena make business, PR and Public Health sense.

On the business side, the arena has taken several actions to reduce water consumption by 48 percent since 2009,  including the introduction of low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, and water-saving irrigation practices.

As for PR and Public Health, it is hoped that Reign fans and corporate supporters will conserve water as a result of the arena doing so. Methinks a promotion (i.e. fans who can show evidence of, say, a 15 percent water reduction at home get a free ticket) would be a great way to encourage such behavior.


citizens business bank
Exterior view of Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. Home of the ECHL’s Ontario Reign, the arena is the first hockey facility in North America to use recycled water. (Photo Credit: Citizens Business Bank)



Many American golf fans likely gave the US team that got blasted by the Europeans at the recent Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Scotland a big, fat Zero. Certainly Phil Mickelson felt US captain Tom Watson was a Zero when it came to managing the team. It’s easy to wallow in those Zeroes but I’m going to switch to a positive Ryder Cup “Zero” story — that of it being a Zero-Waste event.

Managed by the William Tracey Group (one of the UK’s top recycling and environmental services companies) and Spectrum Service Solutions (a leader in event cleanup in the UK). The two companies helped divert over 90 percent of the 1,500 tons of waste generated by the 135,000 total spectators over three days of play.

The Ryder Cup takes place every two years, alternating between Europe and the US. Since the 1997 event at Valderrama, Spain, sustainability has been an element of every European-based Ryder Cup, with this year’s being the first to achieve Zero-Waste. In 2016, the Ryder Cup returns to the US, at Hazeltine (host of the 2002 and 2009 PGA Championships) in suburban Minneapolis. It’s early yet, so there are no sustainability/Zero-Waste plans to review for 2016. GSB will be on the case to see what’s what.


Executives from William Tracey Group, Spectrum Service Group and The 2014 Ryder Cup host committee surround a composting bin at Gleneagles, Scotland in advance of last month’s competition. (Photo Credit: Golf Business News)



The Jets most certainly won’t be playing in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ but the two teams who do will play under high-performance, energy-efficient LED lights from Ephesus Lighting. The new lights will result in an amazing 75 percent reduction in energy consumption vs. the current system. Going LED will mean a reduced  HVAC load because the prior lighting system of metal halide lights gave off tremendous amounts of heat. And LED lights can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch, whereas metal halide fixtures require an energy-sucking 20-minute warm-up period.

My bet is that most major sports stadia and arenas will convert to LEDs over the next 3-5 years. That means by the time it’s reasonable to expect the Jets might actually play in a Super Bowl (LIII in 2019? Optimistic of me, I know), they’ll most certainly be playing in one that’s LED-lit.

Which is nice.


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  1. […] University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and last week’s Super Bowl XLIX, LA’s Staples Center, home of the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers and the NHL’s Kings, […]

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