Phillies Go Green, From Stadium to Studio

By John Rice

While red is the defining color for the Philadelphia Phillies, green is becoming an important trend around the ballpark – and in the team’s public efforts this season. This week, that effort moved into the Citizens Bank Park press conference studio as the team replaced its quartz lights with Lowell Flou-Tec fluorescent units.

That’s the latest step in an organization-wide effort called “Red Goes Green.”

In April, the Phillies became the first Major League Baseball team to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) program. The team purchased 20 million kilowatt-hours of Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset the carbon footprint created by the team’s power usage at Citizens Bank Park.

“We’re trying to make this a holistic effort,” says Bram Reynolds, General Manager, Facilities for Global Spectrum which operates Citizens Bank Park. “It’s not just a renewable energy initiative, not just a recycling initiative. It’s how we look at the entire ballpark and look at ways to conserve energy. Look at ways to be a greener ballpark.”

Supported with a public information campaign that includes public events, school tours, a strong Web presence and highly visible recycling and ‘go-green’ information around the park, the team is both building fan awareness and taking the effort to heart in its own operations.

From the technical perspective, the park has installed a new LED video screen in the seating bowl of the stadium. Reynolds says they are also looking to replace rear-lit ad signs, converting them from neon to fluorescent. “These changes will be a step-by-step process.”

The studio lighting change is the first step on the video and production side of the park. Chief Engineer Dave Abramson said it was an easy decision. “I did some math and figured we’d cut our electric bill by close to 70- or 75-percent,” he says. And he adds that he is “really surprised how good the lighting looks.” The new lighting ‘premiered’ on Monday, June 16th.

And Abramson expects more such changes over time. “You don’t turn a place over overnight,” he says. As CRTs need to be replaced, they’ll become more efficient flat screens, for example. “The realities of budgets and capital items mean you can’t do it as quickly as you might want to. But surely, it’s going to happen.”

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