by Brianna Crandall — February 24, 2017 — It might not seem like installing a low-flush toilet would have much impact on the daily water use of a family of four, but think what a difference it could make at one football stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, says a new report. Consider the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, the location of this year’s game. It has a seating capacity of 71,795, not including the thousands of vendors, security personnel and half-time participants, not to mention the teams themselves. Now, think about the impact that low-flush toilet could have.
The new report by the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Green Sports Alliance looks at ways the nation’s sports venues can make an impact by reducing their energy and water use. The report, Taking the Field: Advancing Energy and Water Efficiency in Sports Venues, considers the potential water and energy reductions the U.S. sports sector could make, and highlights the financial savings some leagues and teams are already seeing from putting such efficiency initiatives into place.
The report, released during the recent 43rd annual Stadium Managers Association Seminar in Huntington Beach, California, is said to be a valuable resource for advancing energy and water performance across the sports industry and makes the business case for sustainability. It shares innovative solutions that emphasize the importance of measuring and tracking energy and water use at sports venues.
According to the report, over 240 million fans visit sports venues annually. Total square footage of these facilities easily reaches into the hundreds of millions. Sports teams and clubs employ nearly 60,000 people and generate $22.6 billion in annual revenue. The opportunity for these facilities owners and managers to improve energy and water performance of their venues, reduce operating costs and engage their communities is enormous.
The report looks at the progress already being made in the nation’s sports venues, challenges to widespread improvement, and opportunities to move forward.
In 2016, a project team of representatives from the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Green Sports Alliance began working on this project with input from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The team looked at the existing data, conducted workshops and Webinars, launched an industry survey, and interviewed representatives from across the sports industry. More than 125 industry representatives participated in these activities, and an additional 20,000 stakeholders received information on the project. This report compiles that data and sets a path for future implementation.
The report, Taking the Field: Advancing Energy and Water Efficiency in Sports Venues, is available to download from the Institute Web site. The study is still open, so stadium and arena managers are invited to participate by taking the survey.