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Game over for the Georgia Dome

It took just 12 seconds for the 25-year era of the Georgia Dome, one of the NFL’s most iconic stadia, to be reduced to dust as it was imploded.

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Watch Optus Stadium lighting show

The lighting system at the newly christened Optus Stadium is put through its paces. With over 150,000 LED lights, the system is one of the largest sports lighting installations in the world.

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Are large operational groups with multiple stadia and arenas in their portfolios doing enough to address sustainability issues, or should the onus lie with individual venues to reduce their environmental footprint? 


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Green streak

US sports fans are more likely to attend games and buy a beer if stadia go green, survey finds

 



Survey results by Shelton Group, an American communications firm that specializes in energy-efficiency and sustainability space, show that a significant number of US fans care about the environment, and they’ll vote with their feet – and their beer cups – at the stadium.

Nearly a third of Americans said they’d be more likely to attend a game or concert at a stadium if they learned that all of the trash left behind was recycled or composted. One in five would also buy more beer, hot dogs and popcorn, the survey found.

The news is grimmer for stadiums that don’t go green. Nearly one of five Americans said they would be less likely to attend another concert or game if they learned all of the trash left behind went straight to a landfill. One quarter said they’d buy fewer concessions.

The survey polled 2,015 Americans and asked: “How would you react if you learned that all of the trash left behind after a game or concert you attended was sorted… with recyclables and compostables being diverted away from landfills?”

• 46% said it would improve their opinion of the stadium or venue owners
• 32% said they would be more likely to attend another game or concert at the stadium or venue
• 22% said they would be more likely to buy concessions at the stadium or venue the next time
• 22% said it would improve their opinion of the team or band

The survey also asked: “How would you react if you learned that all of the trash left behind after a game or concert you attended went straight to a landfill, without any sorting, recycling or composting efforts?”

• 42% said they would blame the stadium or venue owners – and it would tarnish their opinion of them
• 26% said they would be less likely to buy concessions at that stadium or venue
• 17% said they would be less likely to attend another game or concert at the stadium or venue

Wendell Simonson, vice president of marketing for Eco-Products, a provider of environmental foodservice products, said the survey is the first to measure Americans’ opinions on trash left behind at stadiums.

“We have a lot of anecdotal evidence of fans wanting stadiums to do more recycling and composting, but this is the first time we’ve had real data,” said Simonson, whose company makes compostable cups, plates and utensils.

Simonson notes that some American stadiums, such as Seattle’s Safeco Field and the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field, have gone green in a big way. But others could do more.
Previous surveys by Shelton have found Americans feel a lot of ‘green guilt,’ and walking up the steps of a stadium littered with trash going to a landfill just makes it worse. Stadia have an opportunity to assuage that guilt – by not only serving concessions in compostable serveware, but also in publicizing their system to properly dispose of trash.

People feel good when they do the right thing. Buying a beer in a compostable cup allows people to do a little something for the environment -- instead of contributing to the problem.

And who doesn’t want another reason to buy a beer?

 

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