If you have been to a sports game in any of the stadiums around the country in the last three years, you will probably have noticed an incredible increase in efforts to go green. Due to the intense amount of waste and trash along with the high electrical requirements that occur at every game, many stadiums took the challenge of the green commitment. The most recent adaptation has been the installation of solar power for what started out as powering the high tech LED electronic sports scoreboards, but is now expanding into full on renewable energy for the stadium itself.
In the past, solar energy could not be a renewable energy consideration for sports stadiums for a few reasons. The technology for batteries wasn’t advanced enough to hold the amount of power needed for the average game and solar power panels were really only useful in high sun states or those areas that had less overcast weather.
The implementation of LED sports scoreboards may have been the first step in energy conservation, but the demands of a high tech driven consumer and fan base, requiring WiFi, streaming live feeds, multimedia, social media and audio has elevated the purpose of the sports scoreboard into a concentric focus of every stadium. These needs, combined with more sophisticated control rooms bring an increase in electrical use.
Stadiums brought not just the interest in more advancement in solar power, but the investment dollars to back it. Companies have been scrambling to create more light efficient solar collectors and higher quality lithium batteries that can accommodate the increased energy storage.
Miramar City Park in Miramar, Florida installed a completely self-sufficient solar powered system that is totally self-contained. The $65,000 cost will soon be recuperated due to the electrical energy savings. The system is also a big attraction for sponsors who want to support the teams and games but also want to endorse their participation in the renewable energy effort. Studies have shown that the installation of high tech LED scoreboards can increase sales. Sponsors and advertisers also realize that with the latest multimedia that scoreboards offer, they can get their branding out to an entire internet world.
Larger stadiums, such as Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO have invested big dollar amounts to incorporate solar panels to support not only their incredible sports scoreboard, but most of the stadium and administrative offices as well.
While the first steps in going green may have started out with recycling and reusing, we are now entering a time period where the use of renewable energy is coming to the forefront. Stadiums and fields across the country are analyzing the costs and quickly realizing the advantages and dollar savings in the commitment to invest in solar power. It will soon be common place to attend any game and have solar powering every aspect of the experience: from the scoreboard, to the outside lighting and even the beer and hot dog stands.