Meadowlands Stadium Goes Green

Vivi Gorman
Posted on Monday 1st June 2009

The New York Giants, New York Jets and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have joined to make the New Meadowlands Stadium one of the greenest sports venues come 2010.

On June 1, the EPA and the New Meadowlands Stadium Co. signed an agreement to incorporate eco-friendly materials and standards into the construction and operation of New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The pledge to green construction includes ways to reduce air pollution, conserve water and energy, improve waste management and reduce the environmental impact of construction. The conservation and recycling measures in the plan are estimated to save the equivalent of nearly 1.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide during construction.

The stadium will be built on a former brownfield site and the construction will use 40,000 tons of recycled steel, environmentally-friendly concrete and seating made partially from recycled plastic and scrap iron. During construction, vehicles used will run on cleaner diesel fuel and engine idle time will be limited. The company plans to recycle 20,000 tons of steel from the demolition of Giant Stadium.

Once open for use, water consumption and energy efficiency will be a priority and eco-friendly materials will be used for concession plates, cups and trays. The Sports Business Journal reported in October that the design runs just shy of meeting a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification set by the U.S. Green Building Council. The sports journal said the New Meadowlands Stadium Co. opted to forego LEED status because a requirement regarding heavy-duty energy efficient windows would result in a blocked view from the expensive stadium suites.

The New Meadowlands Stadium Co. will provide progress reports to the EPA every six months. The New Jersey Sport & Exposition Authority is developing a new mass transit station adjacent to the new stadium that will link the sports complex with the entire Northeast rail corridor.

“From the first planning stages of this project, we were committed to designing, building and operating a stadium that would be as environmentally friendly and responsible as possible,” said John Mara, co-owner of the New York Giants. “We soon realized that going green is good business as well. We learned, and what we hope others will take from our experience and example, is that technology and knowhow exist to build and run stadiums and other large projects with far less impact on our air, water and other resources than just a few short years ago.”

“The New Meadowlands Stadium will be one of the greenest stadiums in American professional sports,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. “This ambitious, comprehensive plan set forth by the two team ownership groups is a blueprint for new sports venues everywhere.”

EPA has similar agreements in place with the New York Mets for the team’s new Citi Field stadium, the Destiny USA mall project in Syracuse, N.Y., the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J., and St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y. For more information on EPA green construction and operations agreements, visit the EPA's Green Team page .

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