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Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field: Football’s Most Sustainable Stadium

The Philadelphia Eagles play in the most eco-friendly stadium in North America, maybe the world. The Philadelphia Eagles play in the most eco-friendly stadium in North America, maybe the world.

 

America has long held tight to sacred Sunday rituals. One of the most beloved of these is cheering on hordes of Giants, Cowboys, Patriots and Raiders, who pummel each other while trying to move an oblong ball 10 yards at a time. Now our love of football is getting an eco-friendly update in one of the most voracious sports markets in the U.S. — Philadelphia.

Lincoln Financial Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles, is undergoing a makeover that will make the 67,000-seat stadium the first major sports venue in North America powered by sustainable energy. Some of us remember the City of Brotherly Love as the same town where sports fans have thrown batteries at opposing players and booed Santa Claus, but this super-green move by owner Jeffrey Lurie puts a decidedly friendly spin on the home field of such stars as reformed felon Michael Vick.

Nevertheless, the Eagles organization is so committed to the project that it goes through the garbage and separates waste from compost and recycling.

Lurie is retrofitting the stadium with 80 wind turbines, 2,500 solar panels and a 7.6-megawatt biodiesel-reliant power plant in the parking lot. These moves are expected to save the Eagles millions of dollars in energy costs, which are the team’s second largest expense after payroll, and to reduce an amount of carbon dioxide emissions equal to taking 41,000 cars off the road.

“[This initiative] will help reduce the city’s carbon footprint, create hundreds of much-needed green jobs and put our city on the world stage,” Lurie said when the project was announced last year. “This type of forward thinking will serve as an excellent example to every organization that wants to play a role in strengthening our local economy while helping the environment.”

Lurie’s incredible project adds to the already environmentally conscious efforts at the stadium, which include recycling, repurposing or composting everything from tarps to cooking oil to beer cups made of corn-based plastic. They also have recycling bins all around the stadium, but because old habits die hard, many fans still throw recyclables in the trash. Nevertheless, the Eagles organization is so committed to the project that it goes through the garbage and separates waste from compost and recycling.

The franchise is so meticulous in its efforts to go green effectively that for its renewable-energy initiative it has acquired special wind turbines that are quieter, less unsightly and safer for birds than conventional models. Lurie hopes the Eagles’ impact on the eco-movement will not end with their own field.

“In owning and managing an NFL team that’s on national TV, to have that kind of iconic symbol converting to renewable energy, we hope it can be a good example and encourage other businesses to do even better than us,” Lurie said.

This impressive project marks the Philadelphia Eagles as far-and-away the environmental leaders in pro sports. Who knows — maybe the next step will be growing and serving hydroponic vegetables in the stadium.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2012



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Last modified on Monday, 17 December 2012 17:27

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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