News and Notes

GSB News and Notes: Seattle New NHL Team to Offer Free Public Transit; Eagles Use Hydrogen-Based Energy


In today’s bi-coastal, TGIF GSB News & Notes:

  • Seattle’s new NHL expansion franchise, which begins play in the 2021-22 season, will encourage fans to leave their cars at home by offering them free mass transit rides.

  • The Philadelphia Eagles, a green-sports leader since 2004, are bringing clean hydrogen-based fuel to Lincoln Financial Field.



Seattle’s new NHL expansion franchise, scheduled to begin play at the renovated Seattle Center Arena in the 2021-22 season, does not have a name — Sockeyes, Totems and Rainiers are three of the 13 monikers under consideration — but it does have a strong mass transit policy.

The club will be the third in U.S. pro sports history — the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns are the other two — to offer fans free public transit to and from games. Easing traffic congestion, increasing access to mass transit for fans, and doing something positive for the environment are the policy’s three main goals.


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An artist's rendering of the renovated Seattle Center Arena. Fans will be able to take mass transit to and from NHL Seattle games there when the team begins play in the fall of 2021 (Image credit: Populous)


Despite Seattle having a well-earned reputation as being one of the greenest cities in the U.S., greenhouse gas emissions spiked by six percent spike in 2019, with vehicle emissions being the largest contributor. Per Rob Johnson, NHL Seattle’s vice president of transportation, a former Seattle City Council member and a mass transit advocate, as quoted by Kristin Toussaint in Tuesday’s issue of Fast Company, “One of the best ways for us to reduce our environmental footprint is to get people onto public transit and reduce the number of folks that are driving.”

Even if being environmentally friendly doesn’t do the trick, Johnson hopes, per Toussaint’s piece, that “the idea of saving time and money — and maybe the opportunity to have a beer or two at the game without worrying about driving home or waiting for a surge-price ride share — will motivate attendees [to take mass transit]. He gives a hypothetical example: A fan coming from the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle might have a 90-minute trip to the arena by car, when accounting for freeway traffic, time navigating the garage, and then walking to the arena’s door. Plus, there’s the usually high price of parking near games and any tolls. The trip on public transit would be under a half hour (on the new light rail extension, set to open in 2021), drop you off right outside the arena, and cost nothing with your [game] ticket.”



The Philadelphia Eagles, Green-Sports leaders since launching their Go Green initiative in 2004, added to that reputation this week with the announcement of a new sustainability partnership with PDC Machines. The Philadelphia-area technology provider will look to equip Lincoln Financial Field with green hydrogen energy through a SimpleFuel™ hydrogen refueling unit.

SimpleFuel stations take water and electricity to produce super clean fuel cell-grade hydrogen. It converts 3.8 gallons of filtered water into enough hydrogen fuel to power one hydrogen fuel cell for over 360 miles. SimpleFuel is expected to help reduce the Eagles’ carbon footprint by powering the team’s fuel cell cars and other equipment that requires fuel.


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Eagles President Don Smolenski (l) and Jim Petrecky of PDC Machines (Photo credit: Philadelphia Eagles)


“Our partnership with PDC Machines is a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our sustainable management practices,” said Don Smolenski, Philadelphia Eagles President. “Fueling our vehicles and operational equipment with clean hydrogen energy is an exciting new component of our comprehensive efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.”



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