Earlier this year, I wrote about the how the Tampa Bay Sports Authority teamed up with Tampa Electric to make the ACC championship football game at Raymond James Stadium the first to be powered by renewable energy.
Down in South Florida, the Marlins are bringing “green” in sports to a whole new level.
The new stadium, scheduled to open in 2012, would be the first LEED-certified stadium in the country. The $642 million project will feature a heat-reflecting roof, low-emission products to maintain air quality and glass panels for increased natural lighting.
The construction process is also being “greened;” waste is recycled and most of the materials needed for building are made locally.
While this is an awe-aspiring project, it got me thinking about Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Unlike most ballparks, it’s a dome that is air-conditioned during the hottest days of the year in Florida. Considering my electric bill in the summer, I could only imagine what the cost, both environmentally and financially, the Rays must face.
After a little research, I found on a single day 62,000 kilowatt hours of electricity are used to cool 22 cubic acres to 76 degrees. If that number doesn’t mean much to you on it’s surface, consider this: It’s enough to power the average Progress Energy household for more than four years.
But never fear. The Rays are invested in a carbon offset program; instead of cutting down their own carbon footprint, they pay Bonneville Environmental Foundation for “green tags.” In other words, trees might be planted to absorb carbon dioxide on their behalf, or they might be contributing to a new flock of windmills that produce alternative energy.
Want to read more? Check out this tampabay.com article detailing the math behind the carbon offsets of the Trop.