First Eco-friendly NFL Stadium is Chicago’s

June 07, 2012

A historic piece of Chicago real estate has been certified green, and it’s a first.

Achievement: Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and Chicago Bears President Ted Phillips last week to commemorate the fact that Soldier Field has become the first NFL stadium to achieve LEED status.

“Chicago is the green buildings capital of the world, so it is natural that our football stadium is the first LEED certified professional football stadium,” said Mayor Emanuel.

“In Chicago, the public and private sector are committed to promoting sustainability and seeking the positive economic returns and job creation associated with these efforts. Soldier Field is another fine example of this mentality.”

Details: Solider Field, which is the oldest stadium in the NFL, underwent a complete rehabilitation in 2003, and then a number of environmentally focused initiatives were implemented, including green cleaning products, electric vehicle charging stations, a re-use program that recycles soil and sod, energy-efficient lighting, and more.

Boost: The projects leading to LEED certification created about 20 jobs, and approximately 100 part-time jobs will be added during the football season to manage the recycling program.

Payoff: The LEED process should lower operating costs, reduce waste, conserve energy, and improve health and safety in the stadium.

“It is smart business and the right thing to do for the environment,” said NFL Commissioner Goodell. “We salute Soldier Field and the Bears for displaying the type of leadership that makes a positive difference in our communities.”

Hope: Wonder if LEED status is enough to convince NFL honchos to let Soldier Field play host to a Super Bowl?

Reality: I’m going to go with . . . no. Still a great improvement to our city, though!

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