The Philadelphia Eagles’ helmets are already green, and by next year their stadium will match. The team is partnering with power company NRG to build one of the greenest sports arenas in the country.
Of course, professional sports have a sort of built-in lack of sustainability — you’re bringing squillions of people in, mainly in cars, and running all kinds of lights and Jumbotrons and beer stands and whatnot. But the Eagles’ new stadium will make a dent in the rampant wastefulness by getting power from solar panels and wind turbines.
The comprehensive system includes the largest solar power system in the NFL and in the Philadelphia area, with more than 11,000 solar panels and three megawatts (MW) of generating capacity. Solar panels along 11th Street and the south façade of Lincoln Financial Field will generate power and visually demonstrate the Eagles’ and NRG’s commitment to renewable power. Fixed solar panels in the parking lot will generate the bulk of the clean, renewable power that will help run the stadium all year long.
Fourteen micro wind-turbines will be placed along the top of the stadium on the north and south sides. The new clean power equipment is positioned in a way that will not interfere with the fans’ enjoyment of the Eagles’ home games.
Personally, I think the greenest solution would be to nix the whole football thing and make the whole thing into a giant human-made lake, but I realize that plan’s not going to have much support. And if they do have to keep powering lights and cameras and food vendors, this is a step in the right direction.