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  • The Four-Point Stance: How Climate Change and Sustainability Affect Stadium Infrastructure Needs 

The Four-Point Stance: How Climate Change and Sustainability Affect Stadium Infrastructure Needs 

June 20, 2023

For sports fans across the world, the opportunity to enjoy the game of their favorite team is something not to be passed up, even more so when the host venue is top tier. When entering through those gates, the sounds of cheering fans ring out, the smell of stadium treats wafts through the air, and announcers introducing players are the norm, but what about operations going on in the background? With more severe and frequent weather events on the horizon, are facility owners having to contemplate adding a new roof to their stadium? Do they worry about what to do if the community they serve is going through a major power outage?

With climate issues causing increasingly worse weather events across the U.S., the argument for venue and team owners to partner with companies like Viridis to address their changing needs is becoming greater.

Updating Stadiums Around Climate Effects

In 2020, the Texas Rangers debuted the Globe Life Field, a new stadium designed to directly combat a climate-related issue that has plagued their players and fans for decades, extreme heat. Known for their hot, dry summers, Texas fans and players began to feel the effects of the summer heat as the previous stadium, Globe Life Park, didn’t possess a roof or air conditioning. While the Rangers ownership team was able to come together with their city and community to build their new stadium and address their current stadium issues, this is not always an option for many venues and teams.

While the type of climate effects (flooding, heat, rain, snow, etc.) affecting the sports industry differs depending on location, the need to address these causes is immense and necessary, nonetheless. By addressing these issues through the proactive methods of climate adaptive design and sustainable practices and technologies, stadium venues will not only see their players and attendees enjoy their time more but will gain additional resilience-related benefits, as well as the potential for a greater variety of uses for the venues in question.

Meeting Climate Change Goals

Whether motivated by local climate goals or international ones, such as the Sports for Climate Action led by the United Nations, sports teams and stadium owners are coming together to meet climate change goals. While these goals can be aided through a variety of methods such as eliminating single-use plastics, purchasing carbon offsets, and deploying clean technologies, addressing infrastructure-based changes provides long-term, continuous opportunities. By looking at opportunities within the built structure, technologies and systems can be utilized that have climate-positive impacts for players, fans, and communities at large, such as power grid improvements or solar energy implementation.

Sustainable Stadiums Addressing Financial Needs

A consistent positive outcome of addressing climate needs through stadium construction is the financial benefits that traditionally come from technologies implemented. Depending on the choices made, stadium owners can find themselves seeing better savings in a variety of areas such as heating, cooling, and electrical when utilizing proper technology choices. Additionally, as more owners start to partner with companies like Viridis and gain expert input and collaboration into their building process, the cost of addressing infrastructure needs becomes more attainable.

Sustainability in Broader Stadium Communities

When a stadium improves its infrastructure and climate impact, the community it serves reaps the benefits as well. With the symbiotic relationship that occurs between stadiums and their surrounding environments, changes such as upgrading to 100% renewable energy or adding a roof to a stadium have positive effects on all surrounding it. Additionally, as more stadiums are utilized as emergency shelter facilities, the communities around them must be able to depend on their services and infrastructure in times of great need without worry or question.

At Viridis, we understand the many challenges that stadium owners face when it comes to addressing climate change and the infrastructure impacts that their facilities see because of these effects. Our teams are dedicated to providing dependable and accurate support and input for our project partners and look at the impacts that these changes can have, whether driven by need, want, finances or community.

You can learn more about the positive climate action that stadiums have taken by visiting the following resources:

United Nations Sports for Climate Action: Race to Zero

Green Sports Alliance: Resources Library