Sustainability in the Big Leagues
The Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium sports a retractable roof and glass end zone doors that allow in natural light, thus minimizing the need for artificial light. To reduce the demand for air conditioning, the roof has a white membrane to reflect heat and double-paned glass is sloped outward at 18 degrees to further minimize heat exposure.
Lighting in the stadium and parking lot has been changed out to LED, reducing the electric load by 70 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The parking lot also has permeable surfaces to minimize runoff. Operational changes in heating, cooling and other systems have improved efficiency by 10 percent to the lowest level in the past five years.
The Dallas Mavericks reduce waste on and off the court. The basketball team has a strong recycling program for paper, plastic and aluminum at the American Airlines Center, with bins around the entire arena for both Stars and Mavericks games. They also work to eliminate waste by not printing media guides; the former 500-page book of bios, stats and records of the team went digital in 2009. Fans are encouraged to take mass transportation to get to the game in order to reduce emissions and the DART rail and TRE train have stops right outside the arena.
The Texas Rangers boast eco-friendly improvements at Globe Life Park. The 2016 season will feature an LED lighting system called the Eaton’s Ephesus. This installation will provide a 40 percent reduction in fixtures and up to 60 percent decrease in energy use while improving uniform illumination of the playing surface. The Rangers’ executive vice president of business operations says, “Reducing the fixture count and being more energy-efficient represents significant advantages.” Another innovation at section 16 and Centerfield Market of Globe Life Park is BallPark Vegan, a vendor providing options that contain no animal products or byproducts. Plant-based selections include Southwest black bean burgers, vegan nachos, vegan hot dogs, salads and more.