Congratulations to the New England Patriots on their 6th Super Bowl win last night! While this is a huge achievement for Tom Brady, the real star of the show may have been the stadium in which the game was played. Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz stadium is the world’s most sustainable sporting venue and has the highest LEED certification score of any sports facility ever. The stadium has a long list of sustainable street cred:
- 82,500 square feet of LED lighting, including an LED scoreboard
- On-site solar array which generates 1.6 million kilowatt-hours, enough energy to power 10 Atlanta Falcons games
- Capacity to store 2 million gallons of stormwater to help prevent flooding in nearby neighborhoods
- 48 EV charging stations
Additionally, the stadium is in downtown Atlanta and leads the NFL with the highest percentage of fans using public transportation to attend Falcons games. The stadium event has a bike valet for fans commuting to games by bicycle.
Why This Matters: Big sporting events like the Super Bowl can generate a tremendous amount of waste and use staggering amounts of energy (not to mention the carbon intensity of fans traveling to the game). The NFL has made a commitment to reducing waste and increasing sustainability at the Super Bowl and through its leadership, new stadiums are following the lead and incorporating these metrics into their design and planning. As Axios reported, while 6 NFL stadiums currently have LEED certification, and others have clear plans in place, 6 operate absent any announced initiatives. Additionally, the NFL recently announced a membership with the Green Sports Alliance, an organization aimed at encouraging green and renewable practices at sporting events.