LEED-Certified Sports Facilities – The Green of the Crop in Professional & College Athletics



This is a special guest post by Christine Kilbride on behalf of BAMCO.


In recent years, developers’ and architects’ eyes are green – but not with envy. Green building is a driving force in much of the world’s modern day construction and architectural design.

According to a survey and report by Dodge Data & Analytics, the percentage of firms that plan to have a majority of their projects certified green is expected to double by 2018 – from the current 18% to 37%.

From conserving rainwater to utilizing solar power and recyclable material, many aspects of green building can be applied to commercial or institutional projects.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) – renowned for their certification of green building projects around the world – continues to raise the bar for environmentally-friendly building best practices.

The LEED rating system currently includes four classifications: certified, silver, gold and platinum.

When it comes to going green, you’re probably envisioning expansive corporate headquarters like the Hearst Building in New York City or the Google campus in Mountain View, CA.

Let’s take a look at some exceptional LEED certified projects from an industry you may have never expected: Professional sports.


  1. Texax A&M’s Apogee Stadium

The only Platinum-rated stadium on this list belongs to college sports, and the Texas A&M Aggies. The 31,000 seat stadium was designed with sustainable solutions in mind, from the building process to current fixtures.

During construction, 75% of waste was diverted from a landfill, and almost 70% of construction materials were either local or recyclable materials. In terms of energy, wind turbines were installed as an alternative energy source that eliminates about 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere annually.


  1. AmericanAirlines Arena

Home of the Miami Heat, AmericanAirlines Arena has recently received a LEED Gold recertification. Some notable sustainability efforts include a reflective roof to reduce the “heat island” effect of the stadium footprint, diversion of over 330,000 pounds of waste from landfills and installation of plumbing that reduces water usage by over 4 million gallons.


  1. Levi’s Stadium

After initially receiving an accolade as the first stadium to open with a LEED Gold certification in 2014, Levi’s Stadium has recently earned a second LEED Gold for an existing building.

Keeping long term sustainability in mind, materials were carefully chosen throughout the building process. All equipment purchased was 100% Energy Star qualified, almost 86% of cleaning materials are considered sustainable and an Indoor Air Quality management program was installed.


  1. Consol Energy Center

There seems to be no better place for energy efficiency than the Pittsburgh Penguin’s Consol Energy Center. The LEED Gold certified arena earned its rating through utilizing local building materials, maximizing green space and purchasing renewable energy.

But one of the most unique aspects is Consol Energy’s “Rock and Wrap it Up!” program that donates leftover food at concession stands to local food banks on game nights. Sustainable and charitable!


  1. Marlins Park

For baseball, we return to Florida, but this time to Marlins Park. Due to Florida’s heavy humidity and heat, a retractable roof was required to make fans more comfortable. But trying to find an environmentally-friendly design posed an initial challenge. Ultimately, the design team was able to reduce energy use by 22.4%, well over the 14% certification requirement.

Other unique features include flooring made from recycled Nike sneakers, plumbing fixtures that save over six million gallons of water per year, and the installation of over 300 bike racks to promote alternate forms of transportation.

These teams and many more across the country are working hard not only for LEED certification, but to sustain our planet as well. Each day – and each partnership with the Green Building Council – we’re moving closer to a healthier planet.

KAEO Startups: StadiumPark

The KAEO Startups series features entrepreneurs and the businesses they are creating in the sports industry. Click here or the logo to see of all previously featured startups.
StadiumPark Logo (1)

KAEO The Details:

Name: StadiumPark
Launched: January 2015
Founder: Jeremy Crane
Concept: Mobile payment app for stadium, arena and other venue parking.
Website:  www.stadiumparkapp.com
Twitter: @stadiumparkapp

Stadium parking can be a nightmare. When multiple venues share the same parking facilities, game nights can be problematic when multiple teams play at the same time. Even for single team venues, parking can be a logistical nightmare. Fans who drive to a game have come to expect long lines just to pay to park. While some newer stadiums are built with better access to public transportation, driving is still the most common method of transportation for most venues.

The process for parking at venues is broken. Long parking lines and the cash-only payment system which is common at most venues cause several major problems. Most importantly, fans become disgruntled with their first point of contact with a venue. For the venue, fans who are waiting in line in their cars are not in the stadium buying merchandise and concessions. Additionally, many venues only accept cash as payment for parking making it the only place throughout the gameday experience where cash is necessary. No one benefits from long lines just to pay an attendant in cash.

Jeremy Crane seeks to alleviate parking problems with StadiumPark. StadiumPark is a mobile app that allows parking attendants to accept cash-less payments through a simple QR code. Using a designated parking line drivers can scan a code and pay for parking simply by opening the StadiumPark app. It’s similar to EzPass or SunPass but for parking.

StadiumPark is a free service for the venue. The app collects a small fee from each customer transaction.
iphone dualThe idea for StadiumPark came to Jeremy while working at a mobile parking payments startup focused on municipality meter payments.  He realized there was a significant need for mobile parking payments in the stadium, arena and event business. The first developments of the StadiumPark app began to come together earlier this year in the middle of the NHL hockey season.

During the last few months of the season, Jeremy was able to test StadiumPark for Buffalo Sabres games at First Niagara Center. While drivers initially had to be trained to use StadiumPark, frequent visitors to First Niagara became familiar with StadiumPark and expected to see StadiumPark at their parking lot. After the initial success in Buffalo, as well as a successful event at the Citrus Bowl, Jeremy is now raising capital with the interest of growing StadiumPark rapidly on a national scale. Jeremy’s vision is that fans will be able to pay for parking with StadiumPark at any venue. “StadiumPark is gaining substantial interest from stadiums, arenas and other venues throughout the United States.  As the organization continues to grow, we look forward to providing great benefits to sports fans and venues alike.”

To learn more visit www.stadiumparkapp.com.

Eight Communities Submit Bids To Host 2016 & 2017 College Football National Championship Game

Home of the first College Football Playoff semifinal game in 2015.
Home of the first College Football Playoff semifinal game in 2015.

Eight communities have submitted official bids to host the 2016 and 2017 College Football National Championship Games.. The games will be played on January 11, 2016 and January 9, 2017, the second and third years of the new playoff respectively.

Four communities submitted bids for 2016 while six communities submitted bids for 2017. Two communities, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, submitted bids for both years. By rule, no community can host the Championship Game two years in a row. Arizona, Jacksonville, New Orleans and Tampa Bay submitted bids for 2016. The Bay Area, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, San Antonio, South Florida and Tampa Bay submitted bids for 2017.

“This shows the tremendous popularity of college football. Obviously, communities across our country want to be part of the new playoff,” said Bill Hancock in a statement released by College Football Playoff. Hancock is the Executive Director of the College Football Playoff. “College football is a national sport, and rotating the game will bring it to more fans where they live. This is a compelling feature of the playoff, and one which will make this sport even more popular. We’re thrilled with the response from these fine communities and look forward to evaluating their proposals.”

Starting next year, the College Football Playoff will include two semifinal games on New Years Eve and a National Championship Game. The Rose Bowl will be the site of the first semifinal and the Sugar Bowl will be the site of the second semifinal.

Cowboys Stadium, which is hosting the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four, will host the inaugural College Football National Championship Game on January 12, 2015.

Reports of Modern-Day Slavery Plague World Cup Construction in Qatar

Al Khalifa Stadium Doha
18,000 new seats will be installed in Al Khalifa Stadium. (Via D@LY3D)

The Guardian is reporting that thousands of Nepalese migrant laborers in Qatar are facing exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery as the country builds towards the 2022 World Cup.

Immigrants have been brought into Qatar to help build the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. Development plans for the 2022 tournament include building stadiums, roads, and transportation centers. Plans currently call for four stadiums in Doha including the expansion Al Khalifa Stadium (pictured above) by approximately 18,000 seats.

The Guardian’s investigation revealed evidence of forced labor by migrant workers. Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them from running away. Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens. In the report, laborers also claimed they have been denied access to drinking water.

In addition, the Nepalese embassy in Doha reports that at least 44 workers died between June 4th and August 8th.

In 1930, the International Labor Organization voted to include forced labor in their definition of slavery stating that the act of slavery included: “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.” Nearly two decades later, slavery was prohibited by the United Nations under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 1956 UN supplementary convention more broadly defined modern-day slavery as “debt bondage, serfdom, forced marriage and the delivery of a child for the exploitation of that child are all slavery-like practices and require criminalisation and abolishment.”

Last year, Human Rights Watch launched a campaign to expose the abuses of migrant workers in Doha. The 146-page report, “Building a Better World Cup,” examines a “recruitment and employment system that effectively traps many migrant workers in their jobs. The problems include exorbitant recruitment fees, which often take workers years to pay off, coupled with Qatar’s restrictive employer sponsorship system and the employers’ routine confiscation of worker passports, granting employers inordinate control over the workers.”