By Andrew Bagnato
With its retractable roof and field, University of Phoenix Stadium has a well-deserved reputation for innovation. The Glendale stadium takes the same approach to its “Green Mission.”
As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, University of Phoenix Stadium has undertaken numerous sustainability initiatives in its first decade. The building has been in the international spotlight over the last three years, hosting the 2015 Super Bowl and the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. Next April, it will host the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
“University of Phoenix Stadium has made our ‘Green Mission’ a major point of emphasis,” said Tom Sadler, President and CEO of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, which owns the facility. “From recycling to using energy saving lights and conserving electricity, we have adopted the best sustainability practices in our industry. As the host building of the 2017 Phoenix Final Four, we will work to help the event achieve its sustainability goals.”
Here are a few highlights of University of Phoenix Stadium’s Green Mission:
The stadium generates 120 tons of recycled trash each year. It recycles glass and plastic bottles, primarily for NFL games and all major stadium events. The stadium has designated containers to capture these articles on all public levels.
The stadium leases a cardboard compactor that is used for all paper products and is in use for all stadium functions. On game days, tailgaters are given complimentary recyclable bags for disposal of recyclable materials.
Energy Saving LED Sports Lights
The first NFL game to be played under LED light was on September 21, 2014, when the Arizona Cardinals hosted the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium replaced 780 metal halide fixtures with 312 Ephesus Stadium fixtures. The Ephesus system requires only 310,000 watts of energy to power as compared to the previous system at 1.24 million watts.
The reduced wattage creates an estimated 75 percent reduction in overall sports lighting energy consumption. It also lightens the load on the air conditioning system and is more efficient than the previous lighting system.
Green Products and Cleaning Operations
The stadium’s pest control company, Steritech, uses 100 percent green products in all service and pest control applications.
Stadium operations staff use environmentally friendly cleaning products including hand soap, cleaning solutions, and microfiber mops and rags, which preserve water. Stadium restrooms have eco-friendly products for all toilet tissue and hand towels.
University of Phoenix Stadium uses Hydro-Scrubbing to deep clean concrete areas. This system power scrubs and vacuums, using approximately 25 percent of the water used during regular power washing and mopping.
The stadium is set up to be water efficient, a critical feature in the desert. University of Phoenix Stadium has installed dual flush water-saving handles in its most heavily used restrooms. The rest of the facility features 1.2 GPF (gallons per flush) urinals and 1.6 GPF toilets.
The stadium has curtailed all unnecessary usage of lighting and electrical equipment during non-event days by turning off lights in unused areas, walk-in freezers and other appliances that use power.
Stadium staff monitors real-time electrical usage with the local power company to coordinate peak and low-peak demand hours. In addition, the stadium has purchased bicycles to ride in the facility as an alternative to electric or gas-powered carts.
For more information on University of Phoenix Stadium’s Green Mission, visit universityofphoenixstadium.com/stadium/green-mission. For more on the NCAA Final Four, visit phoenixfinalfour.com.
Andrew Bagnato is a partner in Bagnato Pflipsen Communications, the public relations firm of record for the Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee. He has nearly 30 years of experience at the highest levels of sports journalism, media relations, marketing communications and sports business.
Top photo courtesy of Ephesus Lighting. Exterior shot courtesy of John Penic, City of Glendale.
Read more articles on innovation at greenlivingaz.com/innovation.