Venue News & Notes: Leagues Urge Stadium Owners To Go Green

Stadium owners dragging their heels on finding greener ways to power up their high-definition scoreboards and retractable roofs just got a kick in the pants from league commissioners. Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer have dished out letters to their teams and facilities asking them to embrace solar power. Sports suck up a lot of energy — though exactly how much is unclear. A spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is working with the professional sports leagues to encourage their teams and stadiums to go green, says offering an estimate “could be premature and misleading because it varies from team to team, based on size, location/climate, efficiency, and type [indoor vs. outdoor] of stadium”…

…April 1 will mark the beginning of the end of the Florida Marlins’19-year run at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Major League Baseball this week released the 2011 schedule, which features the Marlins hosting the Mets in an earlier-than-usual kickoff. Set to move into their new Little Havana facility in Miami in 2012, the Marlins won’t play all  81 2011 home games at Sun Life. An alternative venue is being sought for the June 24-26 interleague series against the Seattle Mariners because of the June 29 U2 concert at Sun Life. Relocating to Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico, where the Marlins this season hosted a three-game set against the Mets, is one option but hardly ideal…

…A nearly $60 million football stadium with seating for 18,000 will showcase high school athletes in North Texas. Groundbreaking was planned Thursday on the sunken-bowl–design venue for Allen High School. The Dallas Morning News reports that Allen Eagle Stadium will include a two-tier press box, video scoreboard, weight room, wrestling practice room, and an indoor area for golf practice. School Board President Gary Stocker says the facility meets the needs and desires of the community, located 20 miles northeast of Dallas. Allen High School has nearly 3,900 students…

…It looks as if Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena may be in its last days. The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority voted unanimously to start the process to demolish the Lower Hill District icon. The former home of the Pittsburgh Penguins will be left behind when the team begins play at the brand-new Consol Energy Center this season. Preservationists have been attempting to prevent demolition, but these efforts may be on their last legs. The board could award the demolition contract in February, and work would begin immediately after. Penguins officials have suggested saving parts of the arena to preserve the building’s memory. The authority could stop or reverse the demolition process if someone presents a viable plan to reuse the facility, Fontana said. Demolition would cost about $5 million; the public is currently spending about $50,000 a month to maintain the unused arena.

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