Photo credit: John Bollwitt Flickr
With global soccer fever still high, here’s another amazing soccer stadium that boasts some remarkable green features. The recently completed Empire Field Stadium in Vancouver is made with 22,000 recycled tires, amounting to 346,000 pounds of crumb rubber! The stadium, which will host the BC Lions football team (American football) and the Vancouver Whitecaps Soccer team, utilizes the crumb rubber under the artificial turf, which provides a number of benefits for the players and the environment.
A more level cushioned playing surface helps prevent athlete injuries, and the rubber, which serves as an additive to the soil, also helps improve drainage. And since the turf is artificial it never needs pesticides, fertilizers or water, which is a major environmental benefit. The rubber crumb for the stadium was produced by Liberty Tire Recycling, who recycles more than 110 million tires annually.
Unfortunately, Empire Field Stadium is only temporary and will only be in service as a stadium for the two teams during the 2010 and 2011 season, while BC Place (the real stadium) is undergoing renovations and installing a retractable roof. The temporary stadium was constructed on the site of the old Empire Stadium. After the renovations are complete on BC Place, the BC Lions and the Whitecaps will move out of Empire Field and back to their larger stadium. Empire Field Stadium, meanwhile will be dismantled, but the field will remain and the Vancouver community will be able to play on the recycled tire field. It seems a waste to build a stadium for only one year, but at least the community will benefit from a great field afterwards.