In some areas, local utilities are helping. Stadium Management Company, which runs Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, received a rebate from Denver Water worth $60,000, or 40 percent of what it paid for a new irrigation control system. The company also received $18,000 in rebates for reducing water use.
In California, where much of the state is experiencing severe drought, stadiums are particularly challenged. At the San Francisco 49ers’ new home in Santa Clara, 85 percent of the water used is recycled.
The Anschutz Entertainment Group, which runs the Staples Center in Los Angeles, has replaced all 178 of its urinals with waterless urinals, saving more than 7 million gallons a year and $28,200 annually. The Staples Center earned the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard back in 2010.
At another AEG-run facility, the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, Calif., 516 toilets, urinals, faucets and shower heads have been replaced, saving about one million gallons of water a year.
At the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., recycled water is used to irrigate playing fields, while at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., reclaimed water is supplied to the cooling towers, saving about 115,000 gallons of potable water each week.
Out east, cleanup crews at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey pick up all compostable or recyclable trash in the stands, which is about 90 percent of the garbage left behind. This leaves just 10 percent to be pressure-washed away.
Leagues are also getting involved. The National Hockey League, whose teams collectively use more than 300 million gallons of water each season, is encouraging clubs to install more efficient dehumidifiers to reduce ice melting. Making ice for each rink requires about 12,500 gallons.
Last year the EPA launched an online Green Sports Resource Directory that it says can help teams, venues and leagues save money and improve water conservation.
Photo Credit: Staples Center via Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock.com