The 2015 NCAA college football season is right around the corner, meaning once again, thousands of dedicated fans will be piling in to stadiums around the country to watch some of the most exciting sports action in the country. During these games, universities will generate millions in ticket sales, thousands in concessions income and generate attention from spectators around the country. These stadiums will also be using thousands of dollars in energy every Saturday.
In an attempt to hold a more sustainable future, many of today?s biggest universities are making an effort to make their stadiums more energy efficient. The push for LEED certified collegiate football facilities has already helped many higher education facilities decrease their environmental impact and the number of new energy-efficient stadiums is only growing.
While some universities still have a lot of work to do in order to more effectively manage their energy use, there are a few college football stadiums that will be greeting fans in 2015 with state-of-the-art energy-efficient facilities.
While several organizations, including groups such as the Green Sports Alliance want to bring LEED certification to more college football arenas, there are only 25 professional or college sports facilities with that certification in the United States. The good news for college football, is that several of these 25 facilities are university football stadiums, meaning a bright future for a more energy-efficient college football season.
We have taken the time to look at the efforts some of these colleges have made and ranked the ten most energy-efficient football stadiums in the world of college football.
1. TCF Bank Stadium – University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota?s home football stadium was constructed in 2009, and was immediately awarded LEED Silver certification. This massive 50,805-seat stadium was the first football stadium in college or professional sports to be LEED certified.
Energy efficient features of the stadium include a reflective roof to reduce cooling and heating costs, all energy efficient lighting, the most energy-efficient plumbing fixtures available in Minnesota and energy-efficient elevators throughout the facility.
2. Apogee Stadium- University of North Texas
When the University of North Texas built their new Apogee Stadium in 2011 the facility became the first college football stadium in the country to receive the LEED Platinum award.
One of the most impressive energy-efficient feats in this facility is the stadium?s three wind turbines, that are capable of create approximately 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year. The wind turbines alone have reduced the 31,000 seat stadium?s energy consumption by approximately 25 percent.
3. California Memorial Stadium – University of California at Berkeley
This historic 72,000 seat stadium is not only a memorial to World War I veterans, but it serves as the home to the U.C. Berkeley football team and holds a position as one of the most energy efficient stadiums in the country.
In 2014, the stadium was renovated and received LEED Gold status, making the stadium the 189th LEED certified building for the university.
4. Amon G. Carter Stadium- Texas Christian University
Texas Christian University?s 45,000 seat stadium received the Silver level LEED certification when it was completed in 2013. This facility became the 10th building on TCU?s campus to receive LEED certification.
New technologies including lights that automatically dim and adjust based on natural light, double-paned windows, LED lighting and automatic shut-off switches are not only finding their way into the new football stadium, but to facilities around the campus as well.
5. Husky Stadium – University of Washington
In 2015, the University of Washington?s football field, Husky Stadium won the USG NACDA Sustainability Award. The stadium, which was completed in 2013, featured sustainable and energy efficient features throughout, and as part of the university?s effort to conserve energy, the stadium only operates their lights at 25 percent capacity.
The stadium is expected to receive a LEED medal for its preservation efforts. The University of Washington already has 28 different LEED certified buildings with dozens more under renovations now.
6. Kyle Field – Texas A&M
When Texas A&M?s new Kyle Field opens to the public for the 2015 season, the stadium will be the biggest and most luxurious facility in college football. In addition to its eco-efficient elevators and escalators, state-of-the-art energy efficient lighting, sustainable construction practices, lighting sensors and new LED additions, the stadium is actually part of a bigger greening effort by the Aggies.
It was recently revealed that while the Texas A&M campus grew in square footage by 25 percent over the past 10 years, the campus? energy use has decreased by 40 percent.
7. Michigan Stadium ?The Big House?- University of Michigan
Despite holding the title as the biggest college football arena for several years, the University of Michigan?s ?Big House? has managed to put an emphasis on reducing the energy costs of their plus-sized stadium.
The university?s Michigan Green Game Plan focuses on using energy-efficient lighting, controls and appliances to bring their sports facilities to LEED standards, although the university has claimed they won?t be looking for official LEED certifications because of the cost.
New renovations for the stadium are in place to include more occupancy sensors, energy-efficient transformers, solar glazing and building automation systems.
8. Sun Devil Stadium – Arizona State University
Arizona State University?s football stadium is about to get a major renovation from HNTB Corp., a design firm known for leading energy efficient sports stadiums such as Levi?s Stadium, University of Phoenix Stadium and Memorial Stadium. The new stadium will follow the lead of these facilities with energy-efficient lighting, utilization of the university?s solar energy system and EnergyStar appliances. The stadium plans on using the campus? 25 megawatts of solar power along with advanced daylighting and thermal technologies for the project.
The campus? Athletics Department uses solar panels to help power the several buildings that make up their athletic facilities. The Sun Devil Stadium is already using a turf known as CoolPlay, which is made of recycled materials, reduces on-field cooling costs by keeping field temperatures 20 degrees coolers, and eliminates the need for watering.
9. Heavener Football Complex – University of Florida
The University of Florida has five different LEED certified athletic facilities on its campus. The Heavener Football Complex is a LEED Platinum certified facility. The university has been able to reduce its energy use in the football facility by 25 percent since adding features such as occupancy sensors and new energy-efficient lighting.
10. Clarence T.C. Ching Field – University of Hawaii
When the University of Hawaii?s new stadium was completed in 2014, the facility received the LEED Gold certification. With new energy-efficient lighting and the use of sustainable resources during construction, the new athletic complex marked a major move in the campus? efforts to become more energy efficient, particularly in a state with the highest energy costs in the country.