Sports Stadiums Looking To Go LEED

September 28, 2011

With stadiums in most major cities, sports occupy a huge part of American life and culture. So it is great to see some of these stadiums embracing green ideals by trying to acquire LEED certification. Two new stadiums being constructed will seek LEED certification: the new NFL stadium being built in Los Angeles, and the new Marlins stadium being built in Miami. There are also a host of current stadiums that have achieved LEED certification.

Los Angeles

Although the city of Los Angeles has yet to actually land an NFL team, that hasn’t stopped the AEG company from building a new stadium to host a potential team. The stadium, dubbed Farmer’s Field, is hoping to be the first NFL stadium to receive LEED certification. AEG says it will be working with both the U.S. Green Building Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council to ensure that they meet their green goals. AEG has set aside $1 billion for construction of the 72,000 seat stadium, which will be built in downtown Los Angeles.

The stadium is guaranteed to be carbon neutral, as the California State Senate and Assembly passed a bill requiring that the stadium be one hundred percent carbon neutral, including the emissions generated from private vehicles taken to the stadium. AEG has outlined a preliminary plan to help achieve this carbon neutrality that includes a parking strategy that should ease traffic congestion through a system that would guide drivers to appropriate parking dependent on where they are driving from, and the expansion of a light rail system on Pico Boulevard.The company will announce a full environmental impact report in January that should have a finalized transportation plan.

While actually making the entire stadium carbon neutral is extremely difficult due to its location in downtown L.A., AEG can satisfy the demands of the bill by purchasing carbon offset credits from other local eco-friendly efforts nearby that combat global warming. Purchasing these carbon offsets means that although the stadium itself may not be 100 percent carbon neutral, AEG will offset their carbon emissions by putting money into other companies or programs whose work compensates for AEG’s carbon output.


The new stadium for the MLB team the Florida Marlins will be located in Miami, named Miami Stadium, and will try to become the first LEED silver certified ballpark with a retractable roof. The stadium plans to control storm water runoff, recycle 90 percent of its waste material. The roof of the building also helps the stadium’s green goals, as it is a heat-reflecting white roof.

Large glass panels are also part of the stadium in the hopes that they should reduce the need for excessive lighting fixtures. The building materials of the stadium also come in part from materials from the recently demolished Orange Bowl. Finally, the stadium plans to reduce carbon emissions by installing about 2,000 spaces for bicycle parking and giving priority parking to low emission vehicles.

Some other stadiums that have or are seeking LEED certification include:

  • Medlar Field and Lubano Park at State College in Pennsylvania, which was the first sports stadium to be LEED certified
  • Nationals Ballpark, the field for the Washington Nationals (MLB) which was the first professional stadium to be LEED certified
  • TCF Field, the University of Minnesota football stadium, which was the first football stadium to achieve LEED certification
  • Target Field, where the Minnesota Twins (MLB) play
  • Consul Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) and the Pittsburgh Power (AFL), the first NHL and AFL arena to be LEED certified

SOURCES: Green Diary, WIDN, Bleacher Report, Smart Planet, Los Angeles Times