Gallery: The 7 Most Energy-Efficient Baseball Stadiums in the U.S.

Photo: Target Field. Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn, Minnesota Twins.
 

2. Target Field: Minnesota T​wins

The Minnesota Twins’ Target Field was the second U.S. ballpark ever to become LEED-certified, and it is the only ballpark with LEED certifications in both construction and operations. After becoming certified with LEED Silver as a new building when it opened in 2010, Target Field went onto obtain LEED Silver for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance in December 2011. In fact, upgrades to equipment, lighting, and HVAC in 2011 reduced electricity use by more than 12%, despite a new video board and added radiant heating units.

Target Field prides itself on being America’s most multi-modal, transit-oriented ballpark. The ballpark is accessible via light rail, commuter rail, buses lines, bike trails, and pedestrian routes, and its website offers information on traffic so drivers can plan avoid it. The park features low-flow urinals, dual-flush toilets, and aerated faucets use 30% less potable water than conventional fixtures and save about 4 million gallons of water annually. Meanwhile, its rain recycle system allows the Twins staff to use rainwater to wash the seating area; per game, the system saves them 14,000 to 21,000 gallons of water; 86 gallons of gasoline; and 57 man-hours of labor.

The field is illuminated by high-efficiency lighting and an automated system that shuts down lights across the whole facility at certain times each day saves the ballpark nearly $6,000 a year, while office staff play their part by turning off lights and computers, and engaging in other energy-saving behaviors, to help save nearly 5% on office energy use.

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Photo: Marlins Park. Credit: Miami Marlins, Kelly Gavin

1. Marlins Park: Miami Marlins

This season, the Florida Marlins changed their name to the Miami Marlins and moved into the nation’s newest LEED-certified baseball stadium. Marlins Park boasts LEED Gold rating in part because its energy-efficient building envelope – and its mechanical, electrical, lighting, heating, and cooling systems – cost the ballpark 22% less on energy compared to similar structures.

Marlins Park was built on the site of the old Orange Bowl, so it is accessible via multiple transportation options; the park also offers over 300 bike racks. In addition, 60% of the materials used to build Marlins Park came from within a 500-mile radius, which reduced fuel consumption. The ballpark features an 8,000-ton retractable roof that requires a lot of energy to operate, but regenerative drive systems reduce power consumption so that it costs less than $10 in electricity to open or close.

The park also includes 250 waterless urinals which use 52% less water than those found in similar stadiums. Meanwhile, landscaping around the stadium uses 60% less potable water for irrigation because its drought-resistant plants need less water. Windows and glass panels provide ample natural lighting.

Photo: Target Field. Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn, Minnesota Twins

2. Target Field: Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins’ Target Field was the second U.S. ballpark ever to become LEED-certified, and it is the only ballpark with LEED certifications in both construction and operations. After becoming certified with LEED Silver as a new building when it opened in 2010, Target Field went onto obtain LEED Silver for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance in December 2011. In fact, upgrades to equipment, lighting, and HVAC in 2011 reduced electricity use by more than 12%, despite a new video board and added radiant heating units.

Target Field prides itself on being America’s most multi-modal, transit-oriented ballpark. The ballpark is accessible via light rail, commuter rail, bus lines, bike trails, and pedestrian routes, and its website offers information on traffic so drivers can plan ahead and avoid it. The park features low-flow urinals, dual-flush toilets, and aerated faucets use 30% less potable water than conventional fixtures and save about 4 million gallons of water annually. Meanwhile, its rain recycling system allows the Twins staff to use rainwater to wash the seating area; the system saves them 14,000 to 21,000 gallons of water per game; 86 gallons of gasoline; and 57 man-hours of labor.

The field is illuminated by high-efficiency lighting and an automated system that shuts down lights across the whole facility at certain times each day saves the ballpark nearly $6,000 a year, while office staff play their part by turning off lights and computers, and engaging in other energy-saving behaviors, to help save nearly 5% on office energy use.

via Wikimedia Commons

3. Nationals Park: Washington Nationals

When Nationals Park opened in Southeast D.C. in 2008, it made history by becoming the nation’s first major sports facility to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification. Nationals Park achieved LEED Silver for New Construction largely based on the stadium’s highly efficient lighting and cooling systems.

The Park’s highly reflective “cool roof” materials which cover the concession/toilet area minimize heat gains and reduce air conditioning use, while energy-efficient lighting uses 20% less energy than typical field lighting. In addition, water-efficient plumbing uses 30% less water than comparable facilities – that’s a savings of about 3.6 million gallons of water per year.

Photo: AT&T Park. Credit: @2012 S.F. Giants

4. AT&T Park: San Francisco Giants

In 2010 – a decade after the stadium opened – AT&T Park obtained LEED Silver certification for existing buildings thanks to a stadium-wide retrofit. The lighting improvements alone included the replacement of incandescent lights with CFLs ballpark-wide; installation of motion-sensor lighting; replacement of concourse signage lighting with an infrared-type, high-output lamp controlled by a low-output ballast and conversion of the 18 home batting cage sports lights to LEDs. In addition the park upgraded to a high-definition scoreboard that is 80% more efficient than its predecessor and made extra energy savings by installing strip curtains in all walk-in refrigerators.

Photo: Safeco Field. Credit: Seattle Mariners

5. Safeco Field: Seattle Mariners

Through energy-efficient and other green improvements, the Seattle Mariners reduced natural gas use by 60%, electricity use by 30%, and water use by 25% from 2006 to 2011, resulting in an overall savings of $1.5 million (an annual savings of nearly $300,000). During that time, the Mariners also reduced their energy intensity by 25%, winning Safeco Field the grounds to boast lowest energy intensity of all MLB stadiums that participate in the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program. Improvements include replacing the old incandescent bulb scoreboard with a new LED scoreboard, which lowered annual electricity consumption by more than 90% (from 1.2 million kilowatt-hours to 130,000 kilowatt-hours), retrofitting men’s bathrooms with low-flow urinals (which use 1 pint of water per flush, rather than 1 gallon), and recommissioning all HVAC systems.

Photo: Miller Park. Credit: Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Brewers Photos

6. Miller Park: Milwaukee Brewers

Home to the Milwaukee Brewers since 2001, Miller Park is the only baseball stadium with a retractable roof to hold LEED certification for existing buildings. The stadium owes its designation in large part to energy-efficiency. The Brewers upgraded their HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical lighting, and power systems – including the systems that control the retractable roof – with an expected annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 1,153 metric tons (equivalent of taking 220 cars off the road annually). In addition, their new high-definition scoreboard uses 50% less energy than its predecessor.

Photo: Busch Stadium. Credit: St. Louis Cardinals

7. Busch Stadium: St. Louis Cardinals

Since Busch Stadium began improvements soon after it opened in 2006, the ballpark reduced energy use by 23% (down to 161.2 kBtu per square-foot from 211.8 after normalizing for weather). That’s a savings of about $150,000 annually. Part of the savings are due to a 2011 energy audit that resulted in the replacing more than 1,000 traditional spotlights and floodlights with LED lamps to cut lighting power demand in several areas by 90%, the implementation of a ventilation control scheme in electrical rooms to eliminate the year-round use of the equivalent of a 100-ton air conditioner, and the installation of small cooling systems for the scoreboard control room and video coaching room to substitute for huge HVAC units meant for larger areas. Additionally, a new heat exchanger was installed to recover heat waste and reduce the amount of heat that must be generated by the stadium.

Runners Up

Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox) was built in 1911, making it is the oldest MLB stadium in use. In 2010, Fenway completed an energy audit that resulted upgrades to LED lighting, waterless urinals, and a host of other energy-saving features.

Citi Field (home of the New York Mets) is an open-air stadium with a 10,000-square-foot “green” roof that acts as extra insulation to retain cool air in the summer and heat in the winter. The ballpark also is equipped with a temperature-control system that reduces energy consumption by up to 50% using energy-efficient air handlers, pumps, and chillers that adapt their operation to current conditions.

Yankee Stadium (home of the New York Yankees) displays advanced reflectors to amplify stadium light output that have 300 watts less per lamp than standard field-illuminating lights. Special controls decrease lighting spillover onto its Bronx neighbors by 50%.

Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians) took on energy efficiency initiatives – like replacing signs with LED lighting – that cut the Indians’ energy use from 23 million kWh to 17 million kWh annually.

This post was written by Miriam Berg of the Alliance to Save Energy. A previous version was published on their website, to learn more about the Alliance to Save Energy, visit their website.

+ The Alliance to Save Energy

+ NRDC Game Changer Report

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