First the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida became LEED-certified, and now the $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey is getting the green treatment. Yesterday, the New Meadowlands Stadium Company signed an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use environmentally-friendly practices in construction. As a result of its promises, the EPA believes that the rebuilt stadium—home of the New York Giants and New York Jets—will be "a blueprint for new sports venues everywhere."
The new stadium, scheduled to be completed by the 2010 football season, will be partially built out of 40,000 tons of recycled steel—20,000 tons of which will come from the demolished Giants Stadium. Seats in the new structure will be made from recycled plastic and scrap iron, and all concrete will be environmentally-friendly. When the stadium is complete, concessions will be served using compostable plates and cups.
The New Meadowlands Stadium Company has also pledged to cut the stadium's annual water use by 25% and recycle 75% of construction waste. These initiatives will lead to a 1.68 million metric ton cut in carbon emissions—the equivalent of taking 300,000 cars off the road for a year.
The stadium's cuts in water use and construction waste, as well as its adoption of compostable products, will certainly save the New Meadowlands Stadium Company some cash. Whether these steps will make an impact on the Meadowlands' 80,000 visitors per game will depend entirely on the stadium company's marketing strategies.