U.S. Stadiums Go Solar: Major Pro Sports Leagues Move Together Toward Renewable Energy
MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL all call for teams to encourage solar power to help combat climate change
CHICAGO (September 8, 2010) -- The nation's major professional sports leagues are collectively sending an important cultural message in the battle against climate change by encouraging and endorsing the use of solar power and clean energy in arenas and stadiums throughout the United States.
Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer delivered a letter encouraging their teams and facilities to begin using solar power as they continue the effort to green North America's professional sports. The leagues also distributed a comprehensive solar development guide produced on their behalf by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) outlining the work necessary for each stadium to add on-site solar power generation to its energy mix. Having all professional leagues engaged collectively in this manner is an extraordinary event, pointing to the growing cultural transcendence of the fight against climate change.
"Our sport was born outdoors, in winter weather, and many of our players began skating on frozen lakes and ponds," said Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League. "We are acutely aware that our League, as well as all sports leagues, need to be responsible stewards of our planet. Utilizing solar energy is an important and efficient environmental action that sends a broader signal to the culture. It not only conveys a critical message to all sports fans, it improves the efficiency of our facilities and protects the environment."
The embrace of solar power sends a strong message to millions of fans and event-goers throughout the country -- and it could have a big impact on the teams' bottom lines too. In most American cities, solar panels can pay for themselves, potentially offsetting significant energy costs in the long-term. Los Angeles' STAPLES Center, for example, currently addresses 5% of the facility's total energy needs with a solar array.
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