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Aerial View of fans in a baseball stadium

Scoring Big for the Planet

The beautiful beginning of spring is paired with the start of Major League Baseball and the NFL Draft season. Millions of sports fans will be flocking to their local stadiums, cheering on their favorite teams. Whether you prefer America’s favorite pastime, or you can’t get away from the gridiron, the energy of a professional game is palpable. But how much really goes into powering a professional sporting event? From stadium lighting and jumbotrons to sky camera footage, every game has an astounding energy demand.

Thankfully, many professional sports stadiums are taking sustainable steps to reduce their energy consumption. With millions of spectators every year, professional athletes have the opportunity to set an eco-friendly example to the greater public. By embracing sustainability initiatives, professional sports teams encourage sustainability to their fans. From season ticket-holders to at-home viewers, any fan can be inspired by the sustainability initiatives currently underway at their favorite MLB or NFL stadium.

How Much Electricity Does an NFL Stadium Use?

A typical NFL game day can accrue as much as 35 tons of waste, ranging from energy and water to food and transportation. Within the stadium itself, NFL fans and athletes can consume between 100-175 Megawatt-hours of energy by the time the clock runs out. That’s equal to the annual energy consumption of 16 American households! Any effort to reduce these energy demands is a significant step towards improving the sustainability of professional sports.

NFL’s Top 5 MVPs of Stadium Sustainability

Each game day, an average of 60,000-80,000 NFL fans fill their favorite stadium, with an average at-home viewership of 17.98 million spectators. NFL stadiums take an exorbitant amount of energy to power each sporting event and provide a comfortable atmosphere for fans. Not only is powering an NFL stadium incredibly expensive, but it’s also tough on the environment. Due to their increasing energy demands, NFL teams are taking an assertive offensive approach to sustainability.

Graphic of the United States depicting where the most sustainable NFL stadiums are located

#5 – Soldier Stadium – Chicago Bears

While Soldier Field was originally built in 1924, it was their 2003 renovations that helped the Chicago Bears stand out as stewards of sustainability. The Chicago Bears were the first NFL team to be awarded a LEED certification in 2011. Installing 1000+ rooftop solar panels helped them achieve this certification, however it was another project that set them apart. Soldier Stadium made the choice to turn one of their large parking lots into 17 acres of green parklands. The surrounding parkland features a 10 mile bike path as well as underground parking with free EV charging stations.

Chicago Bears’ Sustainability Replay

  • First NFL Stadium to receive LEED certification in 2011
  • Replaced a parking lot with 17 acres of green parkland
  • 1000+ Rooftop solar array
  • Players create environmental conservation PSAs
  • Comprehensive recycling program, including hard-to-recycle materials
  • Efficiency upgrades: LED lighting and low-flow plumbing
  • Composting processes for concession stands
  • Free EV charging on-site

#4 – Lumen Field – Seattle Seahawks

In 2020, Centurylink Field was rebranded as Lumen Field to highlight their sustainability efforts. Lumens are a measurement of the total amount of visible light from a light source. Lumen Field is a fitting name since they have one of the largest solar arrays in Washington with an impressive 830,000 kWh of capacity. The Seattle Seahawks also go big on waste reduction, achieving a 90% waste diversion rate from recycling and composting. After each game, 16 tons of food waste is composted into fertilizer which is shared with 50+ local food partners. Their local food partners, including farms, ranchers, fishers, and bakers, work together to provide local food, beer, and wine to each Seahawks game. For the Seattle Seahawks, sustainability isn’t just a game day initiative, it’s a collective, community endeavor.

Seattle Seahawks’ Sustainability Replay

  • Rooftop Solar Array with 830,000 kWh of capacity
  • Recycling and Compost program with 90% Waste Diversion Rate
  • Blue is Green Energy Education Program with local utilities
  • Stadium Business Summit’s International Sustainability and Community Award
  • Seattle Business Magazine’s Community Impact Gold Award for Sustainability, 2019
  • Energy Star Portfolio Manager Partner Certified
  • 100% of 2019 Field Replacement Project was recycled
  • 100% paper-based biodegradable products
  • Composting post-game food waste into fertilizer
  • Donating unused food products to local charities and organizations
  • Automated LED lighting and low-flow plumbing

#3 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta Falcons

Sustainability efforts both on and off the field, gained the Atlanta Falcons the prestigious LEED Platinum Certification for energy performance. Mercedes-Benz Stadium has an impressive 4,000 solar panel array that provides 1.6 million kWh of power each year. In an effort to reduce flooding risks, the Falcons also invested in a 2.1 million gallon stormwater management system. Stormwater management reduces the facility’s water consumption by 47% and provides effortless watering for outdoor landscaping. It also benefits the stadium’s on-site urban garden which is used to supply concession stands and for community educational partnerships. Mercedes-Benz Stadium has also achieved a 90% waste diversion rate. Unused food items are donated to local charities while food waste is turned into fertilizers for local farms.

Atlanta Falcons’ Sustainability Replay

  • LEED Platinum Certification
  • 4,000 Solar Panel array that produces 1.6 million kWh each year
  • Recycling and Compost program with 90% Waste Diversion Rate
  • 2.1 Million gallon stormwater management system
  • On-site urban garden for concessions and local partnerships 
  • Efficiency Upgrades: waterless urinals and low-flow plumbing, LED lighting
  • Stadium STEAM program for students grades 3-12
  • More than 250,000 lbs of food donated to local charities after games
  • 48 on-site EV Chargers

#2 – Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas Raiders

Allegiant Stadium was the first NFL stadium to host a Super Bowl powered by 100% renewable solar energy. The facility is part of a community solar program that receives power from a Las Vegas solar farm with more than 600,000 solar panels. The Raiders were also the first team to implement a cigarette waste program. Their program turns cigarette butts into usable biomass energy, generating 69,782 watts of energy thus far. Their on-site biomass generator is also used to turn landscaping trimmings into energy. Allegiant Stadium received LEED Gold Certification in 2023 due to their sustainability efforts. Additional upgrades have included a comprehensive energy management system, state-of-the-art HVAC, automated LED lighting, low-flow plumbing and a climate-adaptable ETFE roof.

Las Vegas Raiders’ Sustainability Replay

  • LEED Gold Certified in 2023
  • Powered by 100% Nevada-sourced, renewable solar energy
  • 621,000 solar panels on off-site solar farm
  • Post-game food waste is supplied to local farms for animal feed
  • 1st Stadium with cigarette waste program
  • Glass clippings from field is generated into Biomass Energy
  • Efficiency Upgrades: Chiller plant, HVAC, automated LED lighting, Low-flow plumbing
  • Climate adaptable ETFE roof that improves insulation
  • Rainwater capture system for landscaping
  • Comprehensive building energy management system
Aerial view of Allegiant Stadium


#1 – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia Eagles

Lincoln Financial Field has long been considered one of the most energy-efficient stadiums in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Go Green Initiative has provided their sustainability outlook since opening in 2003. Lincoln Financial Field is powered with 100% renewable solar and wind energy. Their covered stadium parking is home to an impressive 10,456 solar panels that meet 40% of the stadium’s energy needs. The remaining 60% comes from locally generated wind energy. 

The Philadelphia Eagles are also champions of waste reduction, diverting 100% of game day waste away from landfills. In 2023, the stadium turned trash into 718.4 tons of biomass energy. Other recycled waste is turned into stadium seating and other useful items. The Eagles are also the first professional sports team to offset their travel emissions by partnering with environmental conservation programs. Beyond carbon offsets, the Eagles also started the West Field Goal Forest, which plants 20 trees for every successful field goal. Thus far, more than 600 trees have been planted.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Sustainability Replay

  • LEED Gold Certified in 2018
  • ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System Certification
  • Powered by 100% renewable energy sources
  • 10,456 solar panels and 14 wind turbines with 4 MW of capacity
  • 100% Waste Diversion Rate on Game Days
  • 1st Stadium with hydrogen fueling station
  • 1st NFL team to offset travel emissions
  • West Field Goal Forest: 600 Trees planted thus far
  • Annual Earth Day Volunteer Clean-Up at FDR Park
  • Compostable cups and flatware for concessions

How Much Electricity Does a Baseball Stadium Use?

On average, major league baseball generates 5.6 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each season. Between stadium lighting, live broadcasting, bars, and food concessions, it’s no surprise that MLB games are energy intensive. Each MLB game consumes around 150,000 kWh of electricity, equivalent to the yearly energy consumption of 14 American households. Fortunately, sustainability initiatives are breathing new life into America’s Favorite Pastime. MLB stadiums across the country are stepping up to the plate and making a grand slam for the planet. Explore the latest sustainability initiatives currently batting a thousand in Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball’s Top 5 MVPs of Stadium Sustainability

Despite the intense energy demands of baseball games, many stadiums across the country are taking proactive steps to adopt energy conservation and sustainability measures. Here is a look at how the five most sustainable ballparks in the country have improved their energy performance for the millions of fans who visit each season.

Graphic of the United States depicting where the most sustainable MLB stadiums are located

#5 – Loan Depot Park – Miami Marlins

Miami’s Loan Depot Park is an impressive stadium, seating up to 37,000 Marlins fans. It features unique amenities such as a pool and state-of-the-art retractable roof. The 8,000-ton retractable roof uses highly-efficient regenerative drive technology, reducing energy usage and costing less than $10 to operate. They achieved LEED Gold Certification in 2012 due to their sustainability and efficiency improvements. Loan Depot Park reduced energy consumption by 22% and water usage by a remarkable 52%.

Miami Marlins’ Sustainability Highlights

  • LEED Gold certification
  • Constructed from 60% locally-sourced materials
  • Lighting and HVAC system retrofits
  • Upgrading to energy efficient equipment
  • Installation of 250 waterless urinals and other low-flow features
  • Retractable roof with energy efficient regenerative drive system

#4 – Target Field – Minnesota Twins

Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, was the first MLB stadium to attain LEED Platinum certification, the most prestigious green building certification. One of their most successful improvements is a rainwater recycling system that has repurposed 19 million gallons of rainwater over the past decade. Target Field also implemented a recycling and Waste-To-Energy program, keeping 13,000 tons of waste from landfills since 2011. Through strategic upgrades and energy conservation practices, Target Field has reduced their energy consumption by 60%, demonstrating the positive impact recycling and reuse has on the environment.

Minnesota Twins’ Sustainability Highlights

  • LEED Platinum certification
  • Rainwater recycling system
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Recycling and Waste-to-Energy Program
  • Automated LED lighting system
  • Energy conservation processes among staff

#3 – Busch Stadium – St. Louis Cardinals

Since opening, Busch Stadium has established a dedication to energy conservation. The St. Louis Cardinals were the first professional sports team to partner with Energy Star and hire a dedicated energy consultant. Through this partnership, the ballpark implemented strategic upgrades, improving their energy performance by 39%. Busch Stadiums also installed an impressive solar panel array to power their retail shops with sustainable energy. The Cardinals’ commitment to ongoing efficiency improvements has achieved recognition, setting a shining example for other ballparks to follow.

St. Louis Cardinals’ Sustainability Highlights

  • First stadium with Energy Star partnership
  • Awarded U.S. EPA’s 2019 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award
  • Awarded Missouri Waste Coalition’s Environmental Stewardship Award
  • Solar array with 32,000 kWh capacity to power retail storefronts
  • Donating excess food to community organizations
  • Comprehensive compost and recycling program
  • Green Team volunteer recycling initiative
  • Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances 
  • Occupancy sensors for lighting systems
Aerial view of Busch Stadium


#2 – Nationals Park – Washington Nationals

National’s Park made history in 2008 as the first major ballpark in the nation to achieve LEED Silver Certification for new construction. This accreditation was earned for their implementation of highly efficient lighting and HVAC systems, low-flow plumbing, and an impressive 6,300 square foot Green Roof with more than 1,200 drought-resistant native plants. Their greatest investment is perhaps their greenest. The Washington Nationals have the largest solar array in MLB history with 1.46 Megawatts of capacity. Their impressive dedication to renewable energy illuminates the proactive steps MLB teams can take to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Washington Nationals’ Sustainability Highlights

  • LEED Silver Certification for new construction
  • Largest solar array in MLB history with 1.46 MW of capacity
  • Highly efficient lighting and HVAC systems
  • 6,300 square foot Green Roof with 1,200 native plants
  • Reflective roofing to reduce energy waste
  • Voluntary Clean-Up Program for environmental remediation
  • Rainwater recycling system
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures
Aerial View of Nationals Park


#1 – T-Mobile Park – Seattle Mariners

In 2007, the Mariners stepped up to the plate, making strategic upgrades to reduce their energy consumption. One of their first upgrades was an innovative LED lighting system, providing enough energy savings each season to power 400 homes. The Mariners also boast an impressive solar array at both T-Mobile Park and their training facility in Peoria, AZ. As fans cross the T-Mobile Park Skybridge, they’re walking under 40,000 kWh of solar energy generation. 

The Mariners also implemented a zero-waste recycling program with an 85% average recycling rate.  T-Mobile Park’s waste reduction goes even further. They’ve donated more than 761 tons of food to local charities. As a result of their energy conservation and waste reduction efforts, the Seattle Mariners achieved LEED Gold certification. They have also received more than 18 awards and recognitions for environmental stewardship. The Seattle Mariners ongoing conservation efforts and investment in renewable energy illustrates how professional sports can and should contribute to a more sustainable future.

Seattle Mariners’ Sustainability Highlights

  • LEED Gold Certification at T-Mobile Park and spring training facility
  • Awarded U.S. EPA’s  2018 Food Recovery Challenge Award
  • Recipient of Green Glove Award in 2017 for recycling
  • Locally sourced food with compostable utensils
  • Donating more than 761 tons of food to local charities
  • Zero-Waste program with 85% recycling rate
  • Solar array at T-Mobile Park with 40,000 kWh capacity
  • Solar array at their training facility with 345 kWh capacity.
  • Level 2 EV Chargers in parking facility
  • Electric lawn mowers for field maintenance
  • LED lighting system retrofit
Aerial view of T-Mobile Park


Stepping Up to the Plate: Celebrating Sustainability in Professional Sports

Professional sports teams are making great strides in addressing the intense energy demands of sports stadiums. Regardless of which team you’re rooting for each season, behind the scenes each MLB and NFL team is pursuing sustainability improvements. From solar panel installation to recycling and water conservation programs, there are countless ways to reduce the carbon footprint in professional sports.

The stadiums highlighted in this article demonstrate environmental leaders in professional football and baseball. As one of the country’s largest commercial energy brokers, Integrity Energy is committed to sharing the latest innovations in the energy industry. If you would like your business to score an MVP energy plan, request a free quote from our energy experts. We leverage our partnerships with more than 30 top-rated energy providers to secure the most competitive energy plans on the market. Get your head in the game to reduce your energy costs today!